A new “long-awaited” Polícia Judiciária police station, to be built from scratch on council-owned land, has finally been announced for Portimão. Justice Minister Francisca Van Dunem was in the town on Monday (May 29) to sign the land transfer protocol and admitted that the current PJ station desperately needs to be replaced.
Representing an investment of €5 million, it will be built on land in the Raminha area and will replace the town’s outdated and rundown facilities near the town hall. Construction is set to begin in 2019 and should be completed in 2021.
The “modern” station will be based just metres away from the main V6 avenue and the Paul Harris avenue which leads to the EN125 road and A22 motorway, meaning “easy access” from every direction.
The town’s PJ police force has been based, since 1988, at a crowded building near the town hall and simply isn’t up to the modern standards of what a police station should be.
Minister Van Dunem told reporters that the building looks bad from the outside, but “it is even worse inside”.
“It is when you enter the building that you realise that people are working in a huge labyrinth,” she told Barlavento newspaper.
Van Dunem hopes these issues will be solved with the new station, which will boast everything a criminal police force needs: adequate rooms for questionings, cells, and separate entrances for employees and the public.
She also praised Portimão council for offering the land for construction, a decision that mayoress Isilda Gomes said was approved unanimously by councillors.
As Gomes explained, “safety has to be a priority” especially in a region like the Algarve which is visited by millions of tourists every year.
“If our contribution to the GDP is what it is, then the government is also obliged to give the region the equipment it needs so that police forces can provide the best services possible to both residents and tourists,” she added.
Faro PJ station “not forgotten”
Meantime, the minister also assured that the Justice Ministry has not forgotten the need for a new Polícia Judiciária station in Faro. “We are looking for solutions and as soon as we find them, we will announce them,” said the minister.
Photo: From left: João Vieira, president of the Portimão Municipal Assembly, Justice Minister Francisca Van Dunem, Portimão mayoress Isilda Gomes and Joaquim Rodrigues of the Instituto de Gestão Financeira e Equipamentos da Justiça (the entity responsible for justice infrastructures and equipment)
Photo: ANA SOFIA VARELA/OPEN MEDIA GROUP