The Vila do Bispo district in the west Algarve has seen a significant drop in crime over the last four years, according to official police figures.
Capitão Carlos Bengala, of the Portimão GNR Headquarters, confirmed that Vila do Bispo is a ‘safe’ district with a low crime rate, which fell to 270 cases in 2012 compared to 312 in 2011. In 2009 the figure stood at 483.
House break-ins in the isolated areas of Sagres and Budens and thefts from parked cars beside the beaches in summer, especially near the Sagres Fortaleza and Beliche Fort, are the main concern while drug trafficking from Morocco, which focuses generally on isolated coastal landing spots of Figueira, Cordoama and Zavial, requires constant vigilance.
Two cases of the illegal growing of cannabis plants were detected by the GNR in Vila do Bispo and Barão de São Miguel last year.
A spate of electric copper cable thefts from EDP installations, which started last November, was successfully stamped out after three thieves were caught red-handed.
Violent crime in the region is at a very low level and Capitão Bengala told Correio da Manhã newspaper that the improved safety of the district is due to rigorous police patrols and vigilance.
According to one resident, most of the population of 5,258 inhabitants within the 178.99 square kilometre municipal district “live with open doors”.