The presidents of the Safe Communities Algarve Association (SCA) and the Algarve Tourism Board have met up to discuss and define strategies and partnerships to be able to “promote the Algarve as a safe destination”.
The meeting took place between British resident and president of SCA, Davis Thomas and president of the Algarve tourism board Desidério Silva with the aim of exchanging ideas to help to not only make the Algarve a safer place but to also let a wider audience know about the safety levels to potentially increase tourism for the region.
The Safe Communities Algarve association works in coordination with both the PSP police and GNR police force to help to prevent crime from occurring in the first place, something that is seen as very important by the Algarve Tourism board who are keen to counter negative reports in the media about the Algarve in the past.
Reports about murders, muggings and attacks in the Algarve by the Portuguese press and even more importantly by the foreign media, can have a very damaging effect on tourism in the region with such stories “perhaps influencing potential tourists in a negative way” said Desiderio Silva.
Discussed during the meeting were the possibility of orgainsing debates for businesses and owners of condominiums to create more awareness about crime prevention while it was also stated that it would be beneficial to create a common business area at the arrivals point of Faro airport. This area could have information about the Algarve and offer advice on good practices for people while they are enjoying the region on their holiday.
One of the important areas of work undertaken by Safe Communities Algarve is the safe houses programme which has involved working with the police and the foreign community of the Algarve to create a quick response by GNR to emergencies in houses in remote locations.
For SCA president David Thomas “prevention is a collective responsibility and so it is crucial for us to be able to educate not only visitors to the Algarve but also residents in the region of all nationalities.”
Desiderio Silva added: “The Algarve is a safe destination but we want to be able to reinforce this message to everyone who comes to the Algarve”.
The SCA regularly hold sessions across the Algarve and invite foreign and national residents to take part in these educational sessions which also involve local police forces and information about crime prevention.
The next session due to be held by the SCA is due to take place on February 13 in São Brás de Alportel and will include representatives from Algarve Tourism, the local police and the São Brás Câmara.