PRESIDENT of Portimão Câmara, Manuel da Luz, is demanding a larger number of policemen to patrol the streets of Portimão. “There is a feeling of insecurity as there seems to be very few police seen around the streets – we are under policed,” he says. “We have had dozens of meetings with the police chiefs and they are sympathetic but always respond by saying that they have a shortage of officers.”
Portimão PSP has 138 officers and Manuel da Luz says that “the area they patrol has decreased in the last few years and is restricted to the city and Praia da Rocha. However, no-one has been put on the beat to patrol the streets – “why not place some officers in strategic areas?” he continued. The Câmara President was speaking about the particular importance of policing the shopping areas during the busy period leading up to Christmas. Frustrated at the lack of response to date, Manuel da Luz has now asked for the involvement of the PSP District Commander to resolve the issue. “He would probably have to move police from another area, but this is a matter for the police to resolve. Portimão just needs some action to be taken,” the defiant Câmara President declared.
However, Commissioner Carlos Anastácio, District Commander of the PSP, rejected the criticism, claiming that; “In the first quarter of 2004, there was a 50 per cent reduction in recorded crime figures compared to the same time last year.” He considers the câmara President’s complaints “strange”, as all the statistics point to a reduction of criminal activity in Portimão.
The Police Chief ended by commenting that itis “legitimate” for Portimão residents to request more security, but said that, considering the resources that are available, the police work being carried out in the district “is very positive”.