The Algarve’s PSP police force is being boosted with 60 new agents.
The first 45 agents were officially welcomed to the force in Faro on Tuesday (October 25) by Portugal’s Minister of Internal Administration, José Luís Carneiro, who added that the remaining are due to join the force in the coming months.
This reinforcement of 60 agents has already surpassed the number of new agents who have been added to the Algarve’s PSP police force since 2016 – only 51.
Dário Prates from Faro PSP district command said there are currently 835 PSP police agents working at the Portimão and Faro divisions, at the Lagos, Portimão, Faro, Olhão and Tavira stations, in the airport security division and PSP’s special police unit.
With the latest reinforcement, the goal is to “maintain functionality” and bring the police force closer to citizens in order to “promote a feeling of safety among the Algarve population”, Prates said.
New agents will be dispatched to Faro Airport, the commander added, to take over “border control” responsibilities due to the “increase of airport activity and the safety risks which are becoming more and more complex”.
But are 60 new police agents enough to cover the Algarve’s needs?
“That is a complex matter,” Prates said, adding that more agents would always be helpful. However, he recognised the government’s efforts to provide more resources to the police force.
He also said the reinforcement will help establish the Algarve as “increasingly safe for those who live, work, study or visit” the region throughout the year.
Meanwhile, minister José Luís Carneiro also revealed that the government is planning to invest over €600 million in security until 2026. The money will be used to invest in the “modernisation of infrastructure and the purchase of equipment, especially individual protection equipment.”
He also announced salary increases for police agents, starting in 2023, of between €90 and €107 – described as the “largest global wage increase in the last 12 years”.
“Social problems aren’t solved with more police”
The minister also made a point of stressing that more police doesn’t necessarily mean existing social problems will be solved.
“It is a mistake to think so,” he said. “The most developed countries are those that have lower numbers of police agents per 100,000 inhabitants.”
According to the minister, the solution is “great cooperation between all the forces and services of the State.
“If we want more peaceful societies tomorrow, we have to work today to make more comprehensive, tolerant, inclusive towns which promote a culture of individual responsibility,” Carneiro said.
Original article written by Maria Simiris for Barlavento newspaper.