Police reinforcements for region

MORE THAN 100 officers from the Corpo de Intervenção (CI – Intervention Corps) arrived in the Algarve last week to reinforce the region’s PSP force.

The squadron, whose arrival was timed to coincide with a hectic Easter weekend, will remain in the region throughout the year. A source from the CI said the men would be split into two groups. One group will serve the Sotavento (stationed in Faro) and the other the Barlavento (stationed in Portimão).

The CI have been drafted in to develop street-policing tactics and will concentrate on making sure that tourists, particularly in Praia da Rocha, Lagos and Montegordo, are safe and protected.

Although the new force has been hailed as a welcome addition to the region’s police presence, critics have pointed to the lack of vehicles, arms and radios to issue to the CI officers. However, a source from the PSP claimed that “the existing means are sufficient to guarantee normal policing. The equipment that is lacking is intended for extremely serious situations, particularly those that may occur during the European football championship”.

The GNR will also receive reinforcements from May onwards, when 200 extra men will be despatched to the Algarve. These officers will also be charged with policing popular tourist areas such as Albufeira, Vilamoura, Alvor, Praia da Luz and Meia Praia in the build-up to Euro 2004.