More than 40 Portuguese and foreign residents from the small village of Campina near Boliqueime attended a meeting with the GNR at the Vale Silves Community Centre to register with the Programa Residência Segura (Safe Residence Programme – SRP) on April 27.
The GNR Residência Segura team, headed by Cabo Chefe Coutinho, gave a presentation in Portuguese and English on the scheme and described its operation.
Cabo Chefe Coutinho explained that since the programme started in January 2009, more than 1,100 households have been registered in the area. During this period, there had been a sharp decrease in serious violent crime in the area covered by the SRP.
He emphasised the need for residents to look out for one another and report to the GNR team any suspicious activities in their neighbourhood.
Jackie York, a resident of Campina who undertook the preparatory work for the SRP including liaison with the GNR, said she was pleased with the turnout and the interest shown by residents in promoting crime prevention.
Residents said the meeting was a good opportunity for the GNR to come together with the community to help combat crime, while many local Portuguese said they were pleased with the new approach by the GNR through community policing which had provided reassurance to many villagers.
David Thomas, founder of Safe Communities Algarve, who attended the meeting, said the SRP had been a recognised success and said he hoped others residents in the Loulé and Faro areas would be willing to help the GNR further develop the programme.
Details on how to form the SRP can be found on the Safe Communities Algarve website. See article on page 22.