ANTÓNIO COTRIM/LUSA

Serious crime reduces by 9% in 2018

Minister for Internal Administration Eduardo Cabrita told fellow MPs on Friday that serious and violent crime reduced “significantly” during 2018, proving that “Portugal is one of the safest countries in the world”.

Although final numbers were not in, Cabrita put the 2018’s ‘reduction’ at 9% on figures for 2017.

But his reason for addressing parliament was rather different.

Say reports, he was presenting MPs with the “alteration of the private security regime”.

This ‘alteration’ removes the obligation for companies to employ security personnel on trucks carrying more than €15,000 in money or valuables.

From now on, security guards will only be required on trucks transporting values of over €150,000.

It’s a change that has “surprised” MPs and seen disagreement “from left to right” of the House, says TSF radio.

Bloco de Esquerda’s Isabel Pires told the station that “no entity” that has been involved in this line of work proposed the change, and “there are even those who consider it could increase the danger” inherent in this sector, while putting “thousands of jobs” at risk.

PCP’s Jorge Machado has been equally concerned, suggesting the change “could potentially increase criminality”.

Centre-right CDS also sees “various problems”. MP Telmo Correia said the new rule goes against international practices.

Thus the significance of 2018’s ‘significant reduction in serious crime’ is debatable.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com