New brooms at country's police forces: Mr Costa shakes hand of Barros Correia, the new 'face' of the PSP. Image: Lusa
New brooms at country's police forces: Mr Costa shakes hand of Barros Correia, the new 'face' of the PSP. Image: Lusa

PM Costa calls for greater cooperation between country’s main police forces

Today saw swearing in of new heads of PSP and GNR

Portugal’s prime minister has called for greater coordination and collaboration between the PSP and the GNR police forces – stressing they have increasingly greater competencies, particularly in crime prevention and investigation.

Talking in the context of today’s swearing-in ceremony for the new commander general of the GNR, Lieutenant General Rui Veloso, and national director of the PSP, Chief Superintendent Barros Correia, Mr Costa said: “This ceremony has a very special symbolism. For the first time, we have a joint swearing-in ceremony for the commander-general of the GNR and the national director of the PSP and with it, we simultaneously reaffirm both the dual nature of our security forces system – one military in nature, the other civilian – but we also reaffirm the determination of both to work, while respecting their own competences, in close co-operation, collaboration and camaraderie in carrying out the common mission of guaranteeing the security of citizens”.

With the ministers of internal affairs and defence, as well as the national director of Portugal’s criminal investigation police agency, PJ, the public prosecutor and the mayor of Lisbon among the audience, Mr Costa stressed that ensuring security is an increasingly demanding and collaborative task.

“It requires a culture of security in society,” he said, before extending the requirement for coordination between the GNR and PSP to the entire system of the armed forces and other security forces.

According to the government, the choice of Rui Veloso as commander-general of the GNR was a decision taken jointly by the prime minister,minister of defence (Helena Carreiras) and minister of internal affairs (José Luís Carneiro).

The choice of Barros Correia as national director of the PSP was made jointly by the prime minister and the minister of internal affairs.

Lieutenant General Rui Veloso, 53, was promoted to his current rank on August 16 2023 and will be the first commander general of the GNR to come from the force itself, which until now has been commanded by general officers from the army.

The current second-in-command of the GNR, Rui Veloso, has also commanded the Protection and Relief Intervention Group (now the Protection and Relief Emergency Unit) and has carried out four missions abroad.

Chief Superintendent Barros Correia, 58, has held the position of Secretary General of the PSP’s Social Services since 2018, having served as President of the European Union Police Cooperation Group during the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union, Regional Commander of the Azores and Liaison Officer for the Ministry of Internal Affairs at the Portuguese Embassy in the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Príncipe.