Gang conflicts cause panic on Estoril beach

in News · 10-07-2010 00:00:00 · 0 Comments

Patrons in a café on Estoril’s beach were forced to take cover under their tables after a fight broke out last weekend between two groups of youths, believed to be from rival gangs, causing widespread panic along the beach and boardwalk.

Cascais Municipal Police (PM) confirmed that the confrontation flared up on Sunday morning, on Estoril’s Tamariz beach (near Cascais) and reignited again later that afternoon, at around 15h00.
Police described the latter scenario as “a sort of re-grouping of the gangs for revenge”, during which one person was injured with a weapon.
During the morning’s clash members of the gangs fired warning shots, the PM confirmed, adding that members of the PSP police were dispatched to the scene and that by 18h30 everything had returned to normal.
A statement issued by Cascais Town Hall regarding the incident also stated that it was caused by gangs who were ‘apparently from outside the county’, and that the clash had caused tourists to flee the area, as well as the temporary closure of spaces specially designated for summer activities.
The Town Hall further stressed that over the past few days a series of “very serious” incidents had also occurred on the Cascais train line and beaches, carried out by “large groups of people, who left a trail of disturbances, robberies, stabbings, and even several firearm shots”, in their wake, implying it was “imperative” for the “PSP to seriously reinforce the presence of officers in that area”.
Cascais Town Hall has deemed it “essential” for the Minister of Home Affairs to “immediately come to Cascais, to meet with the national PSP directors, local forces, including the Maritime Police, and the Town Hall”, to analyse the situation and draw up “emergency measures, to be implemented, and further suggests that the Minister for Economy and the State Secretary for Tourism join him”.
The Town Hall has attributed responsibility for the events to “the Government’s negligence in terms of security” saying that the situation is further hindering “quality tourism, which is key to the county’s economic activities”.
“Despite contradicting affirmations from PSP chiefs, both national and at a district level, [the truth of the matter is] Cascais’ PSP, at present, can count on just four motorised offices whose mission it is to watch the beaches and boardwalk”, the statement read.
In the Town Hall’s opinion, “four motorised units can not carry out a preventative or repressive action” on a stretch of coastline that has 15 beaches.
Meanwhile, political party CDS-PP has demanded urgent action from the Minister of such incidents that have been plaguing the metropolitan area of Lisbon in recent weeks.
In recent developments, reinforcement in policing has been approved along Cascais’ rail line and on its beaches, something that Cascais Mayor António Capucho has this week voiced his satisfaction about.
Reinforcements were made by the PSP to ensure there is always a police officer within reach of the general public, to be “always close to citizens, particularly in places where there are more people”.
During the week two special units each comprising 10 officers will patrol the Passeio Maritimo boardwalk, train line and Cascais beaches, with these being increased over the weekend, to two groups of 20 officers, including specialised and riot police.


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