Império dos Inocentes da Guarita.jpg

Algarve summer crime continues

By PAULO SILVESTRE [email protected]

Three young British women were robbed by a gang armed with shotguns in the latest incident to threaten the tranquillity of one of the favourite holiday destinations in Europe.

According to the police, the incident happened on August 6 in an area of Albufeira popular with young holidaymakers.

The tourists were returning to their holiday residence from ​​the bar area at Praia da Oura at about 2am when they were robbed by three men carrying shotguns.

“Although there was no physical violence, the robbers took their phones, handbags, a camera and €80 in cash,” said a spokesman from the GNR police.

In a separate incident on August 7, the hotel rooms of members of the Luxembourg national football team, who were in the region for a friendly match against Portugal at the Algarve Stadium on Wednesday this week, were broken-into.

According to police, five rooms at the five-star Ria Park Hotel in Vale do Garrão, Almancil, where four players and the president of the Luxembourg Football Federation were staying, were robbed, with thieves taking iPads, iPods, computers, money and watches.

Commenting on the crime levels in the region this year, a GNR police source said: “We are aware of individuals who flock to the Algarve at this time of year specifically to rob people and properties. Normally where there are more people there is more crime.

“It may seem that the crime rate is rising but we can confirm that the number of robberies and violent assaults has not increased in comparison to last year.”


Albufeira Mayor Desidério Silva had said earlier last week that he was satisfied with the latest GNR reinforcements for the council. He said: “There are currently 230 police officers ensuring the security of residents and holidaymakers in Albufeira. Another positive aspect is the fact that the GNR station in downtown Albufeira is now open until 1am instead of closing at 5pm as it was previously.”

The British, who are usually great fans of the attractions of the Algarve, have been a prime target of the criminals. This year two British tourists lost their lives as a result of violent assaults.

The GNR advise holidaymakers and residents to take care while on holiday and to alert the police of cases of attacks and robberies.

A GNR spokesman said: “Do not leave valuable objects inside your car and always ensure you have locked all the doors to the vehicle. Also, we advise people not to carry large amounts of money and valuables with them. These are basic safety rules.

“Citizens should be proactive. If you see something or someone suspicious, please alert us.”

Meanwhile, the feeling of insecurity in the region has led to an increase in the number of alarms for properties being sold in the Algarve. A spokesman from Securitas Direct alarm and security company told Lusa news agency that the main buyers come from Albufeira, Loulé and Portimão.

“Since the beginning of the year we have already sold 2,000 alarm systems and we estimate that by the end of 2011, this number will be around 4,000.”

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