Algarve crime debated on TV show

By INÊS LOPES & LIZ GRIFFITHS [email protected]

A Portuguese television show has highlighted the problem of crime in Portugal, making special mention of the Algarve region and concerns raised by its foreign community.

On the same day, Tuesday, the Algarve branch of the social democratic PSD party announced that a meeting had been scheduled with the civil governor for Wednesday morning (December 23) to discuss security in the region.

Loulé and Albufeira Mayors formed part of the group of politicians attending the meeting that aimed to discuss topics such as critical crime zones, police presence in the region, communication between criminal investigative forces, private security contracts and real crime cases versus reported cases.

TV presenter Júlia Pinheiro spoke live on the afternoon show Tardes da Júlia, on TVi channel, about recent reports that some foreign residents were considering leaving the country following violent robberies involving physical aggression.

Algarve Resident Editor Inês Lopes was invited by the show to talk live about the issue.

She said: “I was told by the journalist who invited me that the reason why they were covering this subject was because they realise how important the foreign community is for the Algarve region.”

Another robbery

The show came at a time when reports of another elderly Swiss couple, aged 69, from Loulé had been targeted by violent robbers at their home in the area of Sobradinho (also read ‘Swiss couple violently assaulted at home’, November 6 edition).

According to national daily newspaper Correio da Manhã (CM), the latest occurrence took place on Sunday at around 8.30pm when three men entered the home of the couple, cutting through the garden fence and firing a gun to raise their attention.

A neighbour, who spoke to CM, said the couple stepped outside of the house to check on the noise, leading to the attack by the group. Several items such mobile phones, computers, a television and their wallets were stolen.

The GNR were called to the scene shortly afterwards and the couple taken by ambulance to Loulé health centre to be treated for minor injuries on the face.

The Polícia Judiciária are now investigating the case as a firearm was involved.

Meanwhile, a German couple who were violently attacked in their home in Loulé during a robbery have left the Algarve and returned to their home country.

As reported in the Algarve Resident December 18 edition, the couple, who were in their sixties, were found tied up and bloodied at their home in Poço Geraldo on December 7 and had suffered violent abuse from four hooded men who also raided their home.

The attack by a group of men said to have foreign accents “left the couple so traumatised that their future residency in the Algarve remains uncertain,” a neighbour, who wishes to remain anonymous, told the Algarve Resident on Tuesday.

He said: “They went back to Germany but I believe the husband has since returned but the wife has remained in her home country. She is expected to return in January but it is not known whether they will come back permanently.”

The neighbour also told the Algarve Resident that there had been quite a few incidents in the area, with the same German couple also recently having  their car stolen.

The current level of crime in the area has had an effect on the residents living in the area.

The neighbour added: “We recently had a new alarm installed in our house and my wife is too scared to take our dogs out at night. We have only ever seen a GNR patrol car once in the area. Something really must be done.”

Do you have a view on this story? Please email Editor Inês Lopes at [email protected]