A pressing issue in the Algarve is the daily reports of the systematic burglaries and robberies which appear unstoppable.
The criminal element now does not honour you the courtesy of waiting until you are out but the mere fact you have lights on or maybe inside makes no difference.
In such episodes recently, the police cannot even locate properties. One Spanish national I know of who lives here has offered to buy the police GPS devices.
Most of the crimes are not even reported or make the news; therefore the situation is far worse. A high barbed wire fence, cameras, nice yellow burglar alarm and a couple of dogs does not give you that warm cosy feeling anymore.
The fact is you can visit the Aldi in Almancil and still see the bullet holes from a year ago in the ceiling. A friend of mine recently left a bar in the Almancil area, jumped into his car, then an uninvited guest jumped into the back and held a gun to his head demanding money…what is going on?
Should I now be considering buying pepper spray or a handheld high voltage device?
I moved to the Algarve for two main reasons, the climate and safety. I really am not getting the safety bit.
We should not be in a position where our concerns for safety seem to be ignored; the police here carry guns and should be using them.
The criminal element when arrested seemed to be in custody one day and released the next to continue their trade. The Algarve is turning into The Wild West which is fairly evident, just read the papers. Maybe we will all have to publish our own charity functions in the future as one thing is for sure, in a year there will not be any tourists wanting to visit our sands.
Instead of the local Câmara investing crazy amounts of money into new unnecessary road networks, repairs and infrastructure, they should at least be diverting resources into their underpaid and underequipped officers to tackle these outrageous crimes and get the Algarve its good name back.
Editor’s note: Dear Gavin, thank you for email. I invite you to fill in our Algarve Against Crime questionnaire on page 5. Your participation is vital. I would also like to inform you that police officers’ wages are not included in the câmaras’ budgets and the GNR and PSP fall under the Ministry of Internal Administration.