José Gouveia was speaking to Lusa about the various incidents that have marked nights in recent weeks, such as the case of a security guard hitting a client delivering punches and kicks in a nightclub in Albufeira and the death of a 23-year-old boy in Porto who was beaten on the public road next to a nightclub establishment.
"We still haven't heard the Ministry of Internal Administration [MAI] speak about these events. We haven't heard anyone from the State coming to talk about these situations", said the president of the National Discos Association (ADN).
José Gouveia also told Lusa that ADN wants to convey to people the message that these serious situations are not typical.
“The main message we want to convey is that these situations do not define the night. The association has been debating this problem and we have unfortunately been a symbol of the violence that is being experienced throughout the country," he said.
According to the president of ADN, situations such as the aggressions in the Algarve, involving a security guard who was not even part of the security team of the disco where the attacks took place, do not define the sector.
“This situation does not reflect or define what, for example, security in Portugal is. In the same way that the attitude and posture that the security forces in that case [in the Algarve], the GNR, had also cannot be considered as a definition of what an institution like the GNR is. That is a unique situation that is not intended to be replicated in other situations”, he stressed.
José Gouveia recalled that ADN had, during the 19 months in which the clubs were closed, meetings with the Secretary of State for Commerce and with the Lisbon City Council, in which they warned of the importance of better regulating the issues regarding night life.
"We know that in times of financial and economic crisis that we are experiencing, violence ends up escalating and also when there is a feeling of impunity like what we see in the images projected on television or in people caught in robberies and who leave on the same day" , said.
In his understanding, this causes the increase in crime to take place.
“There is so much talk about security, about security at night, in houses, but there is no talk about security on the street, which is the responsibility of the State, the tutelage of the MAI and the security forces that operate in that area. In some GNR in others, the PSP”, he highlighted, arguing for an increase of policing.
In José Gouveia's opinion, the presence of security forces is a deterrent, for example in cases of robbery or violence.
“I always set this example. From Docas to Cais do Sodré [Lisbon] it is a five-minute drive. If we have a car moving around every five minutes in that nightlife area, this patrol car is a deterrent,” he said.
José Gouveia recalls that nightclubs are centres of entertainment that involve excesses with alcohol and that is why the State has to have greater control.
“We are forced to have a series of rules in the establishments, all this due to the type of business we have and then the customer goes out and there is no police, a video surveillance system. There ends up being an imbalance here”, he stressed.
José Gouveia highlighted that the night business “is fragile, he had a hard time and he doesn't need this”.
“What we are asking is for there to be a dialogue with the State. We have knowledge of the operation, what happens on the street, so we want to be heard, explain how these situations are resolved. We also want to pass on a word of awareness to companies, to businesses that operate at night, so that they are careful so that these situations do not occur, more care for their customers, with the type of people they hire and the companies they work with." concluded.