Minister unveils summer security plans for Algarve.jpg

Minister unveils summer security plans for Algarve

DESPITE THE strong, south easterly wind felt down at Portimão’s waterfront earlier last week, the presentation of the summer security plans by the Minister for State and Internal Administration, António Costa, still went ahead as scheduled.

Stretching along the wall at Portimão’s waterfront were various representatives from the security forces and military, including the GNR, PSP and Polícia Marítima, as well an exhibition of various operational equipment. The display was designed to demonstrate the ways security will be guaranteed in the Algarve this summer.

Great emphasis was put on the GNR reinforcements this summer, which total 252 officers, and the Minister also announced a special programme designed to offer dedicated support for tourists visiting the Algarve, to be run by multilingual GNR and PSP officers. The PSP will have two posts, staffed by officers speaking more than one language in Praia da Rocha and Faro, as well as a mobile unit in Monte Gordo. Meanwhile, the GNR will have men patrolling the streets.

António Costa outlined the new features of this summer’s security plans, which include the deploying of three Grupos de Intervenção de Protecção e Socorro (GIPS), intervention, protection and rescue groups from the GNR, based at aerial support centres in Monchique, Loulé and Cachopo, for the prevention of fires.

Lastly, the Minister revealed that a major survey would be carried out to gain feedback from both tourists and residents, concerning their perceived sense of security in the region. During his presentation, the Minister announced that crime figures fell by 11.2 per cent last year, the largest reduction since 1998. By carrying out the survey, Costa said that he hoped a more accurate evaluation could be made of the current situation, making it easier to plan more effectively for the 2007 summer season.