A proactive response to crime

By DAISY SAMPSON [email protected]

Crime in the Algarve is a subject of much concern for many people, with many opinions on how best to tackle crime prevention and security, from increasing the police presence to needing a more proactive stance from the community.

With 37 years of experience in the security industry, the majority of those working for the Hong Kong Police Force and then later with both Interpol and the UN, Algarve resident David Thomas has a vast wealth of knowledge on the subject of crime, something he has been sharing in the Algarve in the last couple of years.

After a spate of burglaries and robberies in his local area of Boliqueime, David began to use his expertise to assist the police and civil government in the Algarve in their efforts to combat crime in the region and he has now set up a business to expand this service.

“I have spent many years serving the community and when I came here I found that there was a certain level of crime and that people felt that more could be done to fight crime here,” said David Thomas.

“The crime in Portugal is nowhere near as high compared with many other European countries but there is a certain perception of crime, especially about burglaries and robberies in the home.

“Having read about the serious crimes targeted against householders towards the end of 2009, I thought it was my civic responsibility, based on my experience in law enforcement, to help the authorities however I could.”

After taking part in several meetings with the police authorities, Civil Governor’s office and then compiling reports and research on the subject, David Thomas has been working independently to bridge the gap between the authorities and the community.

David said: “Having conducted research on the crime situation and policing in the Algarve and met with victims of crime, I felt that more could be done in terms of police/community engagement and through crime prevention in terms of public awareness and education.”

Since the spate of burglaries, a successful scheme, the Safe Residents Programme, has been introduced by police and has also been promoted by David Thomas as he independently works with communities, individuals and the security authorities to try and improve crime prevention through coordinated communication and actions.

“I believe that there is now a greater visibility of police officers in the Algarve, but there could be more. There is also more understanding from the police about the needs of the community while the level of engagement between the police and the community has also increased.”

David has spent much of his time recently working to improve the security and increase crime prevention in the Algarve but has now set up his own fully independent company to allow him  be able to contribute more in this area.

“I have set up ISECA, The Independent Security Agency in the Algarve to promote safer communities, enhance awareness and to reduce the risk of crime, and hope to be able to also raise standards in the local security industry.”

ISECA is available to help individuals, organisations, companies and the authorities with the aim of bringing everyone together to be collectively responsible for improving the security of the Algarve.

“Crime prevention is not the responsibility of the police alone, everyone can help to reduce crime and it is the collective responsibility of the whole community, including security firms, to promote this.

“ISECA is able to provide crime prevention solutions to everyone and because we are fully independent we are not trying to sell specific products, instead we provide crime prevention advice and solutions.”

He concluded: “Crime occurs everywhere but it is better for us to be proactive rather than reactive in our response to it.”

For further information about the services offered by ISECA, please visit or call 913 045 093.