Regarding crime – there is clearly a lot of distress but letters, apart from letting off steam, are of no use as no one – GNR or politicians – is listening, certainly not to estrangeiros, residents or tourists.
Residents certainly know the problems, including being stopped and screws or pieces of wood counted and being fined. But until there is change (and will the new civil governor work for it?) and the Algarve has a proper integrated civil police force, educated, trained, managed, aware of their role and willing to be a service, rather than a force designed to ‘mop up’, uneducated from the unemployed, NOTHING will happen until then. Tourists will complain and figures perhaps go down, Câmara presidents will issue their yearly appeal for more troops, but remember, it is quality that counts not quantity.
Regarding hunting – may I congratulate Sr. Palmilha, Presidente of the Algarve Hunters Association, on a wonderful piece of fiction (Algarve Resident, October 23 edition). It well demonstrates the difference between theory and reality on the ground. One of the surprises of the map was the complete imbalance between hunting zones and reserves, even if the latter are not managed in practice. IF the lynx is to really be reintroduced, and its presence near Messines is not just a PR coup or sop to the barragem building, then each lynx will need a large, undisturbed area with lots of rabbits – not hunted ones – its main prey. So will it happen or do we remain, Sr Palmilha, in fantasy land? It will need to be a real managed nature reserve/park. And what a contribution a properly run one would be to bring tourists away from the coast and to be able to attract a new type of tourist.