Reported crime on the increase

By ELOÏSE WALTON eloise.walton@algarveresident.com

Reported crimes are on the increase in the Algarve this summer, especially in popular tourist areas.

One area affected is  that which includes the luxury resorts of Vale do Lobo and Quinta do Lago in the council of Loulé, where as many crimes have been recorded in the first six months of this year as in the whole of 2008.

Almancil’s GNR branch registered the same number of incidents between January and June this year as it did in all of 2008, corresponding to an average of 100 crimes per month since the start of 2009.

This increase, however, has not led to an increase in full time police personnel.

Aníbal Moreno, of the Associação Empresarial de Almancil, the Almancil Business Association, told the Algarve Resident: “The fundamental problem is that the GNR are working from a residential house that was adapted years ago as a temporary police station. It simply doesn’t have the right conditions to cater for their needs, which means that the service they can offer to the population and visitors is very limited.” He added that there has been an increase in the number of crimes reported and businesses are now trying to protect themselves by putting up more barriers on windows and doors and alarm systems because the policing doesn’t work.

“The Algarve is known as a safe destination and we must be very careful not to lose that image of safety for visitors,” he added.

Loulé Câmara President Seruca Emídio said that he is also worried with the lack of security that is visible in Quarteira and Almancil.

He added that he has already alerted the ministry of internal affairs but so far has had no response.

“The Câmara has already said that it is happy to offer a piece of land for the construction of a police station, to substitute the current one, which is the worst in the council, but the government has told us nothing,” he said.

Meanwhile, according to a report in Portuguese newspaper Correio da Manhã, a 40-year old Irish man tried to steal a handbag from a Portuguese woman along the Tivoli Avenue in Vilamoura on July 20 but was detained by an off-duty GNR officer who chased him and recovered the stolen items.

On July 17, an Australian and a British tourist were robbed in two separate incidents in the early hours in the historic centre of Lagos. According to a PSP spokesman, the Australian tourist, a 23-year old woman, was attacked by three individuals who hit her across the face and stole 20 euros in cash and a digital camera.

The British tourist, a man aged 24, was robbed by five individuals who stole 380 euros in cash, a mobile telephone and a camera.

The PSP are investigating these incidents.

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