The president of the Algarve tourism board has stated that he is satisfied with the level of security in the region and that the Algarve has addressed security issues that affected it as the main tourism destination of Portugal.
Portuguese news agency Lusa heard from Desiderio Silva, the president of Algarve tourism and from the Portuguese minister for internal affairs, Miguel Macedo who were discussing the issue of the level of security available in the Algarve for tourists and for residents.
According to the president of tourism and the minister “the number of police officers and the distribution of these resources in the Algarve have been effective while programmes such as Safe housing have also proved to be effective”.
An increase in the number of police officers on patrol in the Algarve, especially to more isolated areas of the Algarve, has been seen as being key to reducing the number of violent crimes recorded in the Algarve.
Desiderio Silva stressed that he considers the Algarve to be a “safe destination” with police officers, local governments, the Portuguese government and tour operators all working together to create a safe environment for residents and visitors.
He said: “We have addressed issues to do with the distribution of police officers and the Safe housing project and these have had an important impact on the level of security in the Algarve.
“Because we now have police officers patrolling in more remote areas we have been able to respond to calls more quickly and we have also seen positive results in the number of crimes being committed.”
Desiderio Silva stressed that it was important for all entities to work together to be able to provide a high level of security for everyone in the Algarve and added that the minister for internal affairs had shown a “good interest” in the issues surrounding security in the region.
According to Desiderio Silva the Algarve should be considered by the Portuguese government as a special case and should have security issues addressed in a different way to other areas of Portugal because of this. ”The region is a major tourist destination in the country and should have special attention because of this.”
Miguel Macedo siad: “As the mayor said earlier there is no sense in bringing in police reinforcements for the Algarve between June 15 and September 15 if they then just simply disappear. We want to be able to strengthen the police presence and security of the Algarve all through the year.
“It is important to direct police officers to areas with many people along the coast during the high season but it is also important to patrol more remote areas in the hills but instead to approach this in a different way.”
Desiderio Silva has urged the minister to meet to discuss security plans for the next summer season as soon as possible and for all the local authorities to work together with this.
“Last year there was a meeting in April or May about security but this year it will be at the start of the year in January or early February to allow us the chance to be able to discuss security issues across the Algarve and to be able to work together to improve the Algarve as a destination for tourists and for residents.”