We are thinking of leaving Portugal…

Dear Editor, 

In your ‘Dear Editor’ section of December 4, Christine Wilson’s email prompted this further comment.

We were robbed in November 07 and 08 and now, surrounded by further thefts, we are nervous to leave our house empty at any time.

Also, we cannot walk our dog without the risk of attack by other dogs and I am awaiting a phone call from our vet to say we can pick him up after the latest terrible incident.

While getting over this, and the financial cost to us of several hundred euros, we found that the pumphouse on our neighbours’ farm had been stripped of all its pipework, valves and electric pumps etc so that we could not have our cisterna filled. 

We arranged with the bombeiros to supply more water and they could not find our villa, 3km from Silves.

We also note that you do not provide a telephone number for Silves GNR. We needed to contact them recently and it was only by phoning the only GNR listed (at Faro) that we obtained it. They also could not find us when we had our burglaries.

Then we read in your paper that a TV thief was caught but released after handing in his passport. What about heavy bail? As a crook he would have little difficulty getting a new passport.  

So all in all we are thinking it is time we left this country. It is such a shame. When we first moved here about 10 years ago, none of this banditry happened. 

The GNR seem to spend most of their time checking motorists’ papers. Could they not be used much more effectively by patrolling the countryside more frequently?

No wonder we are loathe to leave our home unattended. It could be burgled or burnt down in the summer without anyone knowing and, if it was the latter, there would probably be no water available to fight the fire.

Bill and Debby Bodkin    

By email

Editor’s note: Dear Bill and Debby, thank you for your email. I understand your frustrations but hope you will decide to stay in Portugal. Being Algarve born and bred, I am biased when I say I couldn’t think of a better place to live than this lovely region; it is a well known fact that you will encounter crime anywhere you go in the world. The GNR do their best with all the limitations they have. Being a military police force, I think we all agree that it needs serious restructuring, but I don’t think we are any worse now than we were many years ago. Regarding the telephone number for Silves GNR, which you couldn’t find in our paper, I thank you for pointing this out, but due to a lack of space, we have been unable to include all the emergency telephone numbers for all the Algarve councils. However, we are looking into this in order to provide readers with a comprehensive list of contacts.