José Luís Carneiro presided over the presentation session of the Algarve Seguro 2022 Program, which provides for a reinforcement of the security forces and services of the Ministry of Internal Administration, as well as Civil Protection agents, during the summer months.
Several mayors present asked the government official to increase the security means in the region throughout the year and not just during the high season, as the region has more and more tourists every month.
“The PSP [Public Security Police] and the GNR [Guarda Nacional Republicana] have the appropriate means and will be ready to guarantee the safety and tranquillity of everyone, residents and vacationers,” said the Minister of Internal Administration.
“In fact, the PSP reinforces the Faro District Command with teams from the Intervention Corps and reallocates resources, in particular to cycle patrols, tourist service stations and the Algarve-Destino Seguro project”, explained José Luís Carneiro, adding that the GNR will also be reinforced.
As for the air border, José Luís Carneiro stressed that the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) has adopted measures to reduce the waiting times for tourists arriving at Faro International Airport, indicating that the average time is 40 minutes.
José Luís Carneiro also referred to the increase in the population of the Algarve, which now stands at 460,000 residents, the only region, other than Lisbon, that has grown.
“The general feeling of security in the region, which is also attracting numerous foreign citizens, will have contributed unequivocally to this increase,” said the minister.
The president of the Algarve Intermunicipal Community, the socialist António Miguel Pina, said that the reinforcement of resources provided for in the Algarve Seguro 2022 Program “is similar to that of past years, but falls short”.
“The Government needs to realise that not only does it have to increase this reinforcement [of resources during the summer], but the Algarve needs these resources throughout the year”, said António Miguel Pina on the side lines of the session, insisting that “the Algarve It's not just for summer."
The mayor of Faro, the social democrat Guilherme Bacalhau, also defended the “need to reinforce security not only in the summer months, but throughout the year”, and launched the challenge so that “next year we can have a Safe Algarve for the whole year”.
Faced with these statements, the Minister of Internal Administration said that “work is now being done for the bathing season” 2022, but that “at this moment” there is also an ongoing process of hiring “an additional 2,600 PSP agents and GNR military personnel”.