By PAULO SILVESTRE [email protected]
In the latest violent attacks on tourists, two British men were admitted to hospital after they were mugged in Albufeira on June 24 and, the day after, two Irish women were assaulted on the way back to their hotel in Praia da Rocha.
The two British men, aged 27 and 28, were the victims of an attack by a gang of four individuals at Rua Miguel Bombarda, near the Peneco beach lift, at around 4am of last Friday.
The thieves stole €200, credit cards and two watches from the victims, who were taken to Faro hospital following the attack to receive treatment for bruising.
A spokesman from the GNR police told the Algarve Resident: “The victims presented charges against the robbers, who pick-pocketed them and used physical violence during the assault. We are now investigating the case.”
This incident took place in an area known for criminal activity.
The following day, June 25, two Irish women aged 28 and 29 were attacked by three men in Praia da Rocha, Portimão, on their way back to the hotel at around 4am.
A spokesman from the PSP police said: “They suffered minor injuries. The robbers took their bags which contained money, credit cards and personal documents. The case is under investigation,”
Meanwhile, the president of the Algarve hotels and tourist resorts association (AHETA), Elidérico Viegas, says police reinforcements announced for the Algarve are not enough.
“During the year, there are 2,090 officers from the PSP and GNR police forces in the Algarve for a population of about 400,000 inhabitants. In the summer, the population doubles and the reinforcement of police officers announced is 100. That is clearly not enough,” he told the Algarve Resident.
“We have spoken with the former Minister of Internal Affairs, Rui Pereira, about this matter and are hoping that the new Government recognises that the crime problems we have in the region can only be resolved with more policemen. Tourism, which is essential for the Algarve, will unquestionably be affect by rising crime. It’s imperative that tourists feel and are safe.”
Algarve Câmaras Association president Macário Correia called for a meeting with the new Minister of Internal Affairs, Miguel Macedo, in order to discuss the problems of surrounding security in the region.
He told the Algarve Resident: “The 100 policemen who will be coming to the Algarve in July and August are simply not enough to provide effective security in the region. I hope that the new Government reconsiders this decision and deploys more police officers to the region this summer.”
And Albufeira Mayor Desidério Silva is concerned that rising crime in Albufeira is “undermining the image of tourism in the region”.
He told the Algarve Resident: “Police reinforcements proposed by the government for this summer season are not enough. Albufeira, and the rest of the Algarve, needs a security strategy and the new government needs to be aware of this and take action immediately. However, the region needs extra policemen all year round, not just in the summer.”
Portimão Mayor Manuel da Luz, meanwhile, has called for the installation of CCTV surveillance in the bars area of Praia da Rocha and the downtown area of Portimão in order to detect criminals.
“Crime occurrences are increasing and we need to implement CCTV surveillance in the busiest areas of Portimão council,” he said.
The subject of CCTV surveillance being installed in popular tourist areas of the Algarve is currently under discussion.
Do you have a view on this subject? Please email Editor Inês Lopes at [email protected]