Campaign to protect tourists launched


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A new campaign to help raise awareness and to increase the support of tourists who become victims of crime while on holiday in Portugal has been launched by the Portuguese Association for Victim Support (APAV).

Posters, TV spots, radio adverts, press campaigns and internet marketing will all be used as part of the May I Help You campaign, with increased visibility through the month of August.

A spokesman from APAV said: “Suffering a crime in a foreign country puts the victim in a situation of particular vulnerability. This is due to the lack of understanding of legal procedures by tourists and also because of the few support resources that are available to them as victims of crime, difficulties in understanding other languages and usually the short period of time a visitor is in the country which also hinders the process.”

APAV are a non-profit organisation that has been especially set up to protect and support victims and they believe that as an organisation they will be able to help tourists who are victims of crime by providing legal, psychological, emotional and social aid.

A special website dedicated specifically at tourists who become victims of crime has been set up as part of the campaign and includes information in English, Portuguese and Spanish.

The site contains information about the rights of a tourist in Portugal and details about the procedures involved in criminal cases from the inquiry stage right the way through to the trial stage while outlining the legal rights of a tourist who is a victim of crime in Portugal.

It also includes contact details for Consulates and Embassies in Portugal and practical advice about what you should do if you become the victim of a crime.

For further information about the APAV May I Help You campaign, please visit www.helptouristvictims.org or call 213 587 914

Tips for tourists from APAV

In the street

• Take a colour photocopy of your identification document

• Take only indispensible things with you and avoid putting everything in the same place

• Always use a bag which closes

• Never lose sight of your assets

• In restaurants and bars, do not leave your bag or purse with your belongings at the table or hanging from the back of a chair

• Try not to walk in poorly lit and lonely streets

• Never lose sight of your bank cards – payments must always be made in front of you

If you rent a house

• Make a list and take photos of your belongings in the house

• Hide your documents

• Make sure that doors and windows are safely closed when you go out and before you go to sleep

• Be suspicious of technical services you did not request and always ask for the professionals identification.

• Take indispensible money only, avoiding all valuable objects

• When bathing, try to be in a spot where you can see your belongings