Minister promises a ‘Safe Algarve’ this summer
“We are prepared,” said Eduardo Cabrita, the minister in charge of Internal Administration, commenting on his plans for the safety in the Algarve this coming summer season.
“What we will have over the summer is a boost that allows us to state that we are prepared for a safe Algarve. We are prepared with additional personnel from the PSP, the GNR and a reinforcement of the Borders Police at Faro Airport, “said Cabrita.
The minister commented also on the “Safe Village, Safe Person” initiative relating to fires, a reality that already has affected some countryside areas across the Algarve.
Regarding Civil Protection relating to the fire threat, “at the moment, both on the ground and in the air, we are prepared. When a fire with a significant risk began in Marmelete this month, there were ten aircraft and the necessary land resources,” said the minister.
“We will certainly have fires. What happened last year, especially in the Algarve, is that absolute priority was given to safeguarding human life. We have tested mechanisms to support the population, with the involvement of municipalities and other institutions in the region,” added the politician.
As for the public remaining safe, the Public Security Police and the GNR, working on the ground close to the population, will have considerable reinforcement this summer.
Portugal again is bringing in reinforcemnents from abroad with Spanish, Italian and French Police arriving for a stint in the Algarve.
The GNR will have about 200 personnel on permanent backup, as well as four ‘man and dog’ teams, plus more horseback patrols.
The minister is intent on annoyingh the motorcycling fraternity by pulling in 500 GNR soldiers for the Faro Motorcycle Club’s annual event near Faro and for the Candido de Oliveira Super Cup.
As for the queues of travellers at Faro airport, the government has failed successfully to negotiate with airports operator, ANA, to have new technology installed to increase the number of automatic passport readers, so 40% more staff have been requisitioned to cope with the influx of tourists. This maybe good for overtime payments but hardly the point when technology exists to solve this annual problem.
Finally, the minister insisted that the Loulé heliport has four ‘in service’ light helicopters, with one heavy duty one on its way for a summertime shift.