Algarve welcomes “massive boost” to police officer numbers

Preventing risky behaviours is government’s priority

Over 2,600 extra GNR police are being deployed to the Algarve in what is considered a “massive boost” to police numbers this summer.

The government’s ‘Algarve Seguro’ (Safe Algarve) programme aims to make the region as safe as possible for all who choose the Algarve as their summer holiday destination.

It is a significant increase when compared to the 550 additional police officers deployed to the region last summer (click here).

The announcement was made by Internal Affairs Minister Eduardo Cabrita last Friday (June 26) during a press conference held in Faro to unveil the programme.
The PSP police force will also be strengthened with two additional “rapid response corps” as well as four “prevention and immediate response” teams to tackle urban crimes.

Unlike previous years, foreign police will not be travelling to the region to assist local patrols due to the pandemic.

Speaking to reporters, Cabrita stressed there will be particular emphasis on putting a stop to “risky behaviours” in order to prevent further outbreaks, despite adding that responsibility lies with citizens, businesses and all political and institutional entities to ensure hygiene and social distancing recommendations are followed.

The minister is nonetheless “optimistic” about this summer and the future.

“The Algarve is a safe holiday destination and, from a sanitary point of view, one of the safest in the world,” Eduardo Cabrita said, lamenting however that the pandemic won’t see the region repeat its “historic tourist numbers” of previous years.

“2020 won’t be the best year ever,” he said. “It will be a year in which we will build the confidence of tourists, national and international, who choose the Algarve for their summer holiday.”

Police numbers
The Algarve’s GNR police force will be boosted from 1,000 to 3,650, with agents being deployed to multiple divisions including “public order, patrols and cavalry”.

There will also be 52 trainee officers gaining experience in the region.

Meanwhile, the region’s PSP police, which includes 838 agents, will see rapid response teams joining the force this summer as well as additional teams should it become necessary. Drones and other equipment will also be available if needed, said Pedro Grilo, head of the PSP’s policing and public order division.

michael.bruxo@algarveresident.com