The union structure, in a statement sent to the Lusa agency, underlines that “the process of restructuring the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) and the attribution of powers to the PSP will have to be accompanied by the necessary resources”, as “the situation is being pushed to the limit”.

Within the scope of the restructuring of the SEF, which was postponed until the creation of the Portuguese Agency for Migrations and Asylum (APMA), the police powers of that body passed to the PSP, GNR and PJ, while the current duties in administrative matters regarding foreign citizens are now exercised by APMA and by the Institute of Registries and Notaries.

“Totally inappropriate”

The Union Association of Police Professionals considers that “the management of this process is totally inappropriate and causes daily security constraints at Lisbon Airport”.

“Police officers who are being diverted from their mission to SEF services embezzle the PSP's operational responsibility on the spot. PSP professionals are placed in other services and training against their will. Several invitations were made to the Airport Security Division that did not fill the existing gaps. The lack of attractiveness of the function is related to the meager and different remuneration for those who perform identical functions”, says the union association.

The ASPP/PSP says that many of the professionals working in the airport security division (DSA) have already asked to leave, but have seen their claims rejected.

“This is the routine reality of DSA. PSP professionals do not have the gift of omnipresence - they cannot be in two, or more places, at the same time", underlines the structure, adding that "the answers to the questions posed by the ASPP/PSP - via various offices - insist on in not showing up, this union not knowing the reasons for this absence”.

The restructuring of SEF was decided by the previous Government and approved by the Assembly of the Republic in November 2021, having already been postponed twice.