Police declare month of leniency

in News · 20-08-2015 14:10:00 · 1 Comments

Four police unions have this week revealed that they will be staging a series of protest actions starting next Monday and that they will last through until the end of September. The decision was made to illustrate the PSP police force’s discontent at the government dragging its heels in
approving the professional statute for officers.

The call to action will include a series of demonstrations across the country, but more importantly for the general population as a whole, it will also see officers exercising much greater leniency and restraint when it comes to issuing citizens with fines for offences such as transgressions of the Highway Code.
Not fining offenders is an act which in itself is against the law, and as a result, police unions have not explicitly confirmed this type of action.
However, PSP police, whose task it is to patrol Portugal’s urban areas, have been asked by unions to “favour educational actions” and be “non-repressive” during the five weeks of protests.
In total, more than 23,000 officers will now have the choice to heed their unions’ calls and totally avoid issuing traffic fines or other punitive measures.

Unions have explained that officers will be encouraged to be as indulgent as possible with offending citizens, so long as their leniency does not affect the greater good of the general public as a whole.
Similar action was staged eight years ago, but at the time, it was only decreed for the period of one week.
Estimates at the time said the action resulted in a drop of approximately 80 percent in the revenue the state obtained from the payment of traffic fines.
Provisional figures reveal that state coffers have been boosted by an average of just under ten million euros a month during the first third of the year from revenue obtained from traffic fines alone.
The strike against fines also comes at an awkward time for the government, with September set to be dominated by election campaigning for the 4 October ballot.
Union leaders have accused the government of “not being worthy of any trust”, despite the Home Minister Anabela Rodrigues saying she was working on approving the professional statutes for PSP officers and intended to have the process concluded by the end of the month.


I noticed that my front licence plate was missing so drove to a garage to have it replaced. Before I got there 2 police officers stopped me. I explained the situation and they told me, after a very long time studying the various pertinent police manuals, that I would have a big fine if I didn't continue my journey, but would have a smaller fine for doing so without the licence plate. The actual fine was so small I wondered if had been economical to collect. Cops should be given some discretion as regardless the thickness and number of the guidance notes issued, not everything fits.

By Colin Buckley from Other on 25-08-2015 04:39
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