I have been convinced that the press never did want to address this issue, in case it had a negative effect on tourism. At last it appears that the vicious nature of the criminals has pushed the agenda to the fore. At least now tourism is well down, the blame can be shared with the world situation!
Let me begin by saying that my experience of Algarve and Andalucian crime spans 32 years. In the Algarve, my family had not experienced robbery for 27 years, except for the loss of eight sacks of Alfarroba beans. That means to me that the Algarve and its people were to my mind as innocent as humans can be, given that they saw, at first hand, that most foreigners had so much, when ‘o povo português’ had so little. I am talking of Alentejo workers arriving to the Algarve almost shoeless, without tools, to work here in 1978. We lived with doors open, without fences or fear. I had thought of the Algarve as paradise, where my daughters could roam in peace, night and day, and indeed they have.
In the last five years, I have had five major robberies and one assault and robbery on me personally while in my house. The latter involved the threatening use of a pistol and meat cleaver, which ironically was mine.
Even out of the house, solar water heaters have been stolen, along with gas water heaters and tubing (all copper). The insurance company does not cover them because they are not in the house … neither is the sun!
I have declared every theft, every detail of tools stolen, two computers, etc to the GNR. Until today, in spite of arrests and the discovery of ‘mountains’ of goods, I have never been invited to look at recovered goods, assuming that such items have been found.
Worse still, friends and acquaintances have been viciously assaulted and certainly marked for life psychologically and emotionally.
What I am to say is not politically correct… Until the Guadiana bridge was opened, Algarve’s virginity was intact… Now, every Jack, Tom, Dick or Harry can wiz in and out loaded with anything from goods, drugs or even children!
This situation is a cancer of unknown proportions.
I hope that your enquiry will produce good results, meaningful and practical ones.
NAME AND ADDRESS WITHHELD