We were grateful that Marlene de Sousa Guerreiro Vice-Presidente Câmara da Municipal de São Brás de Alportel and Coronel Carlos Almeida GNR Commander Faro District Territorial Command were able to attend. Also present from SCP were Mike Evans and Jane Thomas.

The seminar, focusing on road safety awareness and crime prevention, coincided with the “World Day in Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims”, being marked on 19th November, in which the President of the Republic Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa strongly appealed for operational and awareness work to be reinforced against a problem that caused 238 deaths in the first half of this year.

The Safe Christmas and New Year Seminar event was introduced by Marlene de Sousa Guerreiro, David Thomas President of Safe Communities Portugal and Cliff Newton, Presidente of Amigos do Museu do Traje São Brás de Alportel, where the event was held.

We were privileged that Dr.ª Raquel Viana Head of the Communication, Innovation and Special Projects Division, Autoridade Nacional de Segurança Rodoviária from the ANSR Headquarters in Lisbon was able to attend, giving a very comprehensive presentation of the causes of road accidents, the campaigns being conducted by the ANSR and security forces and the initiatives planned for the festive period starting 13th December.

Capitão Samuel Afonso, GNR, Comando Territorial de Faro gave a very comprehensive presentation on crime prevention and various crime initiatives being undertaken by the GNR.

Following the presentations, there was around 45 minutes of questions and answers covering subjects such as: use of CCTV cameras as part of household security systems, vehicle dash cams, street numbering/naming, safe residence program, calling police in emergencies, domestic violence, drug trafficking, crime trends in São Brás, road safety campaigns, accident black spots and using roundabouts by drivers.

At the end, certificates were presented to the two presenters by the Vice-Presidente Marlene de Sousa Guerreiro. Very good feedback from those who attended and plans are already in place for further events.

Marking “World Day in Remembrance of Road Traffic Victims”, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, recognized “the relevant role of awareness-raising and inspection campaigns planned within the scope of the National Inspection Plan”, but called “strongly for operational work and collective awareness to be reinforced, because all lives count”, according to a note published on the presidency's website.

David Thomas commented that “the remarks by the President of the Republic clearly illustrate the importance of road safety and that everyone, both pedestrians and road users, have a role to play, in reducing the number of deaths and injuries each year”. “Remember this festive period the Best Gift is Being Present. And that depends on the commitment of all of us”.