The purpose of the meeting was to give introductory briefings and to discuss the GNR priorities for the region and the supporting work of Safe Communities Portugal, within the framework of the existing protocol between the two parties.

Commander Oliveira said that the “safety and well-being” of the population of the Algarve is the main priority. He explained that he intended to “promote proximity and community policing” and “take an even more active role in defending the forests against fire”.

In this context, Pedro Oliveira considers that the “commitment to prevention is essential” and promises “the commitment of the GNR in actions to control and raise awareness of the population, in collaboration with local authorities, to clean up land and create fuel management, which are essential for prevention of fires.

Addressing the issue of serious road accidents the commander stressed the need to “strengthen prevention and enforcement actions in the road network, which is fundamental”.

He also highlighted as a goal of the need to maintain the Algarve a safe destination for tourists, because the region is attractive as a result of economic climate, stability, natural resources and infrastructures. Safety is therefore paramount.

At the same time David Thomas, President of Safe Communities Portugal, gave an outline of SCP’s work, and its primary role, in communication with the foreign community in particular, and supporting the work of various authorities in helping to maintain the Algarve as a Safe Destination. This included its “Safe Tourism Project”, which in 2018/19 addressed a number of issues through various events and crime prevention leaflet campaigns.

The Commander pledged that he looked forward to his new command, the important contribution of the foreign community and said that his door “was always open”. Prior to his arrival in the Algarve Tenente Coronel Pedro Oliveira was a liaison officer in the Office of the Minister of Internal Administration in Lisbon.