Safe Communities Portugal meets new GNR Faro District Commander

Safe Communities Portugal recently met with Tenente-coronel Pedro Oliveira who assumed the post of Commander at the GNR Faro Territorial Command on May 10.

The purpose of the meeting was to give introductory briefings and to discuss the GNR priorities for the region and the supporting work of Safe Communities Portugal (SCP) within the framework of the existing protocol between the two parties.

Commander Oliveira said that the “safety and wellbeing” of the population of the Algarve is the main priority. He explained that he intended to “promote proximity and community policing” and “take an even more active role in defending the forests against fire”.

In this context, Tenente-coronel Pedro Oliveira considers that the “commitment to prevention is essential” and promises “the commitment of the GNR in actions to control and raise awareness of the population, in collaboration with local authorities, to clean up land and create fuel management, which are essential for prevention of fires”.

Addressing the issue of serious road accidents, the commander stressed the need to “strengthen prevention and enforcement actions in the road network, which is fundamental”.

He also highlighted as a goal the need to maintain the Algarve a safe destination for tourists, because the region is “attractive as a result of economic climate, stability, natural resources and infrastructures. Safety is, therefore, paramount”.

At the same time, David Thomas, president of Safe Communities Portugal, gave an outline of SCP’s work and its primary role, in communication with the foreign community in particular, and supporting the work of various authorities in helping to maintain the Algarve as a safe destination. This included its “Safe Tourism Project”, which in 2018/19 addressed a number of issues through various events and crime prevention leaflet campaigns.

The meeting also discussed the GNR Safe Residence Programme and the value this had brought to those living in rural areas as well as the Local Security Contract programme under the leadership of the Secretary of State for Internal Administration.

The Commander pledged that he looked forward to his new command, the important contribution of the foreign community and said that his door “was always open”.

Prior to his arrival in the Algarve, Tenente-coronel Pedro Oliveira was a liaison officer in the Office of the Minister of Internal Administration in Lisbon.

Aged 50, Tenente-coronel Oliveira holds a Master’s Degree in Law and Security and a Degree in Military Sciences – Specialty GNR. His career has included Commander of the Intervention Group of Public Order, Operational Squadron Commander – United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) and Chief of Staff of the Intervention Unit. He is no stranger to the Algarve and has visited here whilst undertaking his work in public order.

Tenente-coronel Pedro Oliveira succeeds Coronel Joaquim Crasto who recently retired.

Photo: Tenente-coronel Pedro Oliveira, new Faro GNR District Commander, and David Thomas, president of Safe Communities Portugal