Rallying from yesterday’s shock news (click here), the PSP police syndicate ASPP is demanding a meeting with the ministry of internal administration, to find out why it has decided to cut funding for 500 vital recruits.
“This is an issue that will affect everyone,” syndicate leader Paulo Rodrigues explains. “We are talking about internal security. We are talking about the capacity of police to react, which is something that concerns not only Portuguese people but the internal security of Europe.”
Rodrigues stressed the urban police force is already “working on a knife edge due to lack of staff”.
The decision to cut back on the number of recruits that can be taken on – especially when 800 candidates have already been selected and are on internships now in local police stations – could put everything the force is meant to stand for at risk, he said.
Thus, the first thing ASPP is attempting is “to get explanations from the ministry to understand what has led to this decision”, and the second is to discover whether or not there is a Plan B, “something which we haven’t yet been told about”, Rodrigues added.
The force has already informed government leaders that 25% of personnel are “elderly” in policing terms, due to retire within the next five years and “without the capacity to respond to demands”.