PJ syndicates speak out against government stifling investigations
“It’s impossible to combat corruption when promotions in criminal investigation have not been adjusted in 20 years and there has been no hiring of new intake for the last five”.
This was the warning on Monday of judicial police syndicate boss Ricardo Valadas whose message was that it is “time to say enough to this government”.
Valadas terms government updates of the service’s “organic law” as “sterile” and unacceptable.
The PJ is just another branch of the civil service that is pitching itself wholeheartedly against Socialist powermakers in the run up to next year’s legislative elections.
Valadas told state news agency Lusa: “We are the most forgotten and prejudiced sector of Public Administration. We have been striving for an integral dialogue for the last 20 years and all we have been given are ‘intentions’. Now after another two year negotiation process with this government, we are not prepared to accept sterile updates to the PJ’s Organic Law and statutory regime”.
In a statement, Valadas syndicate ASFIC-PJ accused the finance ministry of “mortgaging the future of criminal investigation in Portugal”.
As he explained, how can the PJ expect agents to come on board “without any expectation of promotion whatsoever?”
Who would be interested in taking on a “risky profession without due compensation”?
Público expands on the situation, explaining that right now the PJ numbers just 1,100 officers, when it should have 2,400.
As a result everything is compromised, while terrorism, cybercrime, violent crime and organised crime continue to avail themselves of up-to-date means and technology.
“The PJ does not have any friends in the parties of government”, he stressed. “Successive governments have not wanted to understand that money spent in the PJ is not a cost but an investment. The greater the PJ’s activity, the greater the inroads made against embedded groups that are stripping the coffers of the State. Organised economic crime and corruption use highly sophisticated means, while investigation in Portugal is undertaken with obsolete means”.