Albufeira mayor raises security concerns

Albufeira mayor raises security concerns

Secretary of State for Internal Administration, Isabel Oneto, has vowed to address concerns

Albufeira has gained the status of the Algarve’s tourism ‘capital’ but has also become notorious for its security concerns, particularly near nightlife hotspots in the summer.

These very concerns were voiced by Albufeira Mayor José Carlos Rolo during a meeting with Secretary of State of Internal Administration Isabel Oneto on July 27.

Among the topics discussed were the planned GNR police station in Olhos de Água, an increase in police officers in the borough (especially during the summer months), and a CCTV surveillance system in some parts of Albufeira.

The meeting had been requested on May 3 but only took place nearly three months later due to the secretary of state’s “tight schedule”, Albufeira council explains in a statement to the press this week.

The GNR police station proposed for Olhos de Água – which the council says has yet to move forward due to “bureaucratic and administrative reasons” – was one of the main topics discussed.

“Plans for the station have yet to be accepted by several bodies of the GNR, which is why the Secretary of State for Internal Administration will contribute to moving things forward towards the signing of a protocol between her office and the local council,” says Rolo.

The mayor also raised his concerns about the “safety of people and property” in the borough, not only in the busy bar strip (Oura) and tourist hotspots but also its inland areas, which have been targeted in the recent wave of carob thefts affecting producers across the Algarve.

Thus, Rolo called for an increase in the number of GNR agents at the stations in Albufeira and Paderne.

According to the mayor, the number of agents in Albufeira has been decreasing over the years, while the number of residents and holidaymakers has been increasing.

“Albufeira has 44,000 residents according to the 2021 census, but during the peak of summer the number is very close to 500,000,” said Rolo.

“The secretary of state is aware of the situation and even said that resorting to (GNR) interns, which has been the case, is surely not the best solution. That is why I requested that during the summer season there should be a stronger police presence,” he said.

The local mayor also asked for swiftness in the implementation of CCTV cameras in the municipality and the streamlining of the process for victims to file complaints.

According to Rolo, Mrs Isabel Oneto took all of his concerns on board and said she will everything she can to accelerate the implementation of the suggested measures.

By Michael Bruxo

michael.bruxo@portugalresident.com