Bandit country

Someone has died during a robbery…

My car was stolen a couple of weeks ago, but recovered with only a few parts missing. Within the last month, two houses I take care of have been robbed. For one of them, it is robbery ‘number two’ in just 18 months. All these events were happening in the Loulé district. Our shop in Quinta do Lago was robbed a couple of months ago; in fact, robberies are so regular now in the ‘golden triangle’ that they are hardly newsworthy. It has become a bandit country.

I regret that I cannot agree with the mayor regarding the lack of GNR resources. Reporting various robberies has forced me to spend many hours at the police station in Loulé recently. There are plenty of police; they just don’ta) have the knowledge to deal with this and b) they just don’t care anyway!

Reporting the aforementioned robberies, together with the property owners, took over four hours to complete the paperwork. The first robbery took them more than seven hours to show up at the house. They even managed to run out of diesel on the way. When they finally arrived, they took no fingerprints and no footprints, despite a perfect set on one of the chairs.

There isn’t any money in solving robberies either. It is much more lucrative for the GNR to make a nuisance of themselves, standing on the side of the road, checking documents and hassling hapless tourists over missing triangles or shiny jackets. It’s policing from Salazar’s time in the 21st century, and it is way out of date. When the public demand more, we will get more. And, bear in mind, foreigners can vote in local elections.

In the meantime, my deepest sympathies to the victim’s widow.

Name and address supplied

So much more to say

Would you please allow me a little space to reply to J B Brand’s letter in your April 29 issue?

I’m sad that your correspondent found my piece on Charles and Camilla’s wedding “miserable”. It was written immediately after watching the complete BBC coverage of the event, during which I drank sparkling wine and ate smoked salmon sandwiches, as was proper for the occasion.

The brief I was given for the article was a short, colour piece containing some background, press and media reaction, as well as my own impressions – a difficult task to do it justice, given the limited space.

I could have written at great length about how loving the couple looked, what fun many of the royals were having before the blessing ceremony, and how happy I was that, at last, the two have been able to regularise their relationship in a way which obviously brought great joy to both of them.

I’m sorry if this didn’t come across.

Mike Johnson

Plymouth, Devon

A very special woman

Last week, when I drove home to my house in Vale de Lama, I found a dog lying beside the road. At first I thought it was dead, but when I came closer, I saw she was still breathing. The poor dog was in a terrible state. Her head was bleeding, she was not able to stand on her feet and she seemed to be very frightened.

I took her to the nearest vet, who gave her an emergency treatment. I assumed the dog had been driven over by a car, but was completely shocked to hear from the vet that the dog had been bashed on the head, very likely with the aim to kill her. I just could not believe what I heard. Such a sweet and gentle dog she was!

When I returned from the vet, I did not know what to do. I had just returned from Holland with my two sons, had to work the next morning and, in a house with already five dogs, there was no chance I could keep her to take care of her.

I ended up calling Bridget Hicks from LAPS, the animal protection society in Lagos. I knew she already had so many dogs and cats to take care of, but maybe she could, at least, advise me on what to do or who to turn to. Caring as she is, Bridget arranged for the dog to recover a couple of days at the vet until she could walk again, and then would see if she could home her. Well, I just visited Bridget, the dog returned last Saturday to her place and is recovering remarkably well! Through this letter, I want to thank Bridget ever so much for the way she helped me out and would like to make the readers aware of the incredible work Bridget is doing. She is a very special woman!

Please, help Bridget by fostering or homing one of her animals, or by offering just a few hours per week of voluntary work, either at the sanctuary or at the second-hand shop at Quatro Estradas. The telephone number of LAPS is 282 687 334.

Nanette Kant


Fan mail

I’d like to join Cecilia (Fan mail, The Resident, April 16) in her enthusiasm for Skip Bandele. When I buy The Resident, it’s also the first thing I read! You would make me – and Cecilia for sure – very happy if you would let him write weekly. I’m sure other people agree with me!

Christine, a Dutch fan