JUST TWO of the Algarve’s churches have met the criteria necessary to benefit from a PJ security project.
The scheme, the Igreja Segura-Igreja Aberta (safe church – open church), was created by a PJ department dedicated to the preservation of churches and sacred art.
Through a protocol with several national and regional organisations, the PJ’s Instituto Superior da Polícia Judiciária e de Ciências Criminais developed a crime prevention strategy to stop robberies and destruction of Portuguese churches.
In the Algarve, the programme includes Igreja da Misericórdia in Tavira and Ermida da Nossa Senhora da Conceição in Loulé. The total number in Portugal is 14 churches.
To join the project, churches have to fulfil several criteria identified by the programme. The project includes identification of the artefacts existing in the church, their conservation and identification of risks as well as police surveillance.
For more information, visit http://www.igrejasegura.com.pt/. The website has an English version.