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Safety at top of the agenda

By SOPHIE MCCARRICK & INÊS LOPES [email protected]

Crime and safety issues in the Algarve were top of the agenda at a consular outreach event at Albufeira’s Vila Galé Cerro Alagoa on Thursday, October 20, attended by the British Ambassador, the British Consul to the Algarve and other guest speakers.

British Consul Clive Jewell, who accompanied Ambassador Jill Gallard during her first visit to the Algarve last week, discussed the Consulate’s efforts in helping to improve safety in the Algarve.

With an estimated 40,000-plus permanent residents in the Algarve, the consular team is working harder than ever to offer support to those British nationals who find themselves in vulnerable situations such as victims of crime and detainees.

Working closely and establishing stronger links with the GNR police force “has been and is” one of the Consul’s priorities.

“Things will and are changing,” said Clive Jewell, referring to recent GNR figures that showed a significant reduction in cases of crime in the Algarve, particularly in the Albufeira and Loulé areas.

He believes the close relationship developed between the Consulate and the GNR has led to a more efficient approach in what concerns the safety of citizens, particularly British residents and tourists in the Algarve.

These connections are “a step in the right direction” for crime prevention and are expected to improve the way police forces and the consulate work in the Algarve, a tourist focused region.

Clive Jewell added that good communication with Albufeira Mayor Desidério Silva and the Câmara is also developing, a sign that the municipal authority is keen to bring Portuguese and foreign communities in the council together.

A consular surgery to assist the Consulate in Portimão was recently set up in Albufeira to support British nationals in the area, particularly in view of recent crime cases involving British tourists.

Clive Jewell confirmed the office has been well received and provides a vital service in the area.

David Thomas from ISECA, The Independent Security Agency, spoke of the organisation’s objectives in developing its services within the community and providing up-to-date information to foreign residents in the Algarve on issues related to community safety and crime prevention.

A neighbourhood watch scheme has been successfully set up in the Loulé council with the support of the local GNR and David Thomas is keen that such programmes are implemented in other areas.

During his presentation, he showed how the community and the police authorities can work together in the fight against crime, suggesting that residents should look out for each other in their neighbourhoods as well as implement measures to protect themselves and their properties such as registering with the GNR’s Safe Residence Programme, developed specifically for residents living in isolated areas.

The latest consular outreach event is one of many the Consulate in Portimão is planning to organise in the Algarve.

For information about future events, please visit