New police headquarters inaugurated

by PAULO SILVESTRE [email protected]

Portugal’s Minister of Home Affairs, during his visit to the region last week for the inauguration of two police headquarters, said investments in security must continue despite budget constraints.

Minister Rui Pereira attended the inauguration of the refurbished GNR headquarters in Silves and the opening of the new PSP police headquarters in Lagos on Wednesday, October 27.

In his speech, Rui Pereira emphasised that government investments in security will continue despite cuts in public spending. “It is vital to optimise resources, set priorities and respond to key challenges in security,” he said, adding that investments in security and the protection of citizens are of utmost importance to the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The investment made in Silves GNR station represented a total of 620,000 Euros, while the new Lagos PSP headquarters, which was built from scratch, cost around 1.5 million Euros.

In Lagos, the PSP has a force of 120 police officers, while Silves GNR has 60 officers.

“We will continue to boost our security forces because safety is a fundamental right of citizens,” said Rui Pereira.

He also made mention to the financial contribution made by local Câmaras in the construction and refurbishment of the two police headquarters, and considered the role of the civil government key to raising the levels of safety within the community.

Rui Pereira added: “The Algarve, and particularly in what concerns its economy, must ensure the safety of its residents and visitors. This is fundamental to the development of the region and tourism sector.”

Safety of citizens

Referring to the new police stations, the Minister said the improvement of infrastructures will mean police officers will have better working conditions and therefore a more rapid and effective response to crime. “Their primary assignment is the maintenance of public order. However, they are also responsible for criminal investigations, civil protection, victim support and road safety,” he said.

Faro Civil Governor Isilda Gomes said: “The safety of citizens is a priority and will continue to deserve the Government’s attention, which has responded in time to the needs of the region.”

Silves Mayor Isabel Soares told the Algarve Resident: “In Silves, security has been assured by the GNR for many years. Police officers work for the community by protecting citizens, their property and preventing crime.”

Silves GNR station had been in desperate need of refurbishment work for many years, with officers complaining of poor working conditions and infestations of coach roaches within the building.