Number will not solve the problem of police numbers
With public sector syndicates said to be considering ‘teaming up’ against the government to help the transversal fight for improved salaries and conditions, Paulo Santos, president of ASPP – the PSP police syndicate – has criticised the opening up of 500 new police vacancies as “manifestly low”.
The number will not resolve the problem of lack of police within the force – and has to be seen against the number of agents waiting for early retirement, he tells Lusa, conceding nonetheless that vacancies have likely been set low for a reason.
Last year, when 100 vacancies were opened, only 580 people applied.
According to the syndicate leader, until the government makes policing ‘more attractive’ (ie increases salaries/ conditions for incoming agents), the problem will stay exactly as it is – which means police in urban areas will be struggling.
At a point where Portugal’s absolute majority government seems to be impressing no-one outside its immediate sphere, ASPP has described the situation as “yet another irresponsible move by the government.
“We know about the difficulty of recruitment into the Public Security Police, we know about the aging of the force, we know about the situations of prolonged absence from duty, for health reasons and accidents on duty, we also know about the constant cutting of holidays and time off due to a staff shortages”. The PSP “doesn’t have the capacity to respond” to the needs of the municipal police in Lisbon and Porto”, says ASPP.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs announced today that municipal police forces in Lisbon and Porto will be reinforced with 50 new PSP agents.