The victim of the robbery reports that during the night someone entered the house while everyone was sleeping. According to the PSP, it was “a theft inside a residence, without breaking in”. Exclusively to The Portugal News, one of the victims report that the robbers took “documents, credit cards, money”, and electronic devices from home, among other belongings such as “car keys and house keys”.

When they realised what had happened, the inhabitants of the house called the PSP, who appeared with a total of seven officers and took statements, of only of one of the inhabitants of the house. The PSP collected all possible information at the crime scene, including photographs of people walking around the house, taken by the victims, as well as having the opportunity to analyse a footprint left on the facade of the building.

The robbery took place in a lit area, in Tavira, according to information provided to The Portugal News, “at night the area is as lit up as it is during the day, due to the streetlamps” spread across the street.

The PSP told The Portugal News that “a criminal investigation is underway, under the purview of the Public Ministry of Tavira”, so certain details cannot be revealed to the media, due to the policy of secrecy of justice, in force in Portugal.

In cases of theft, the PSP “in addition to police activity oriented towards criminal prevention” adopts “procedures for collecting evidence, through the competent management of the crime scene”. To facilitate this work, victims should not disturb the scene of the crime, trying to leave it as untouched as possible, so that the police can follow all the steps of the investigation. After collecting the evidence and facts narrated in the Denunciation Notice, the information is transferred to the Public Prosecutor's Office, which carries out the criminal investigation.

The Portugal News received information that the Tavira Police Station was understaffed, making it difficult to investigate home thefts, which seem to be increasingly frequent. The PSP states that “Tavira is a safe city” and the number of effective military personnel at the Police Station is sufficient “taking into account the crime rate and the number of police officers in functions in the Faro District Command”. Nevertheless, the source linked to the PSP states that “most police officers are dedicated to crime prevention”, with criminal investigation as “one of the attributions of the Public Security Police”.

The PSP guarantees that it will “maintain the effort of crime prevention, presence and visibility, to reduce the occurrence of this type of crime”, however, “a police reinforcement of the Faro District Command” is planned soon, which will have an impact on the Tavira Police Station.

How to protect your home

The police force listed some tips for citizens to keep their homes safe and avoid incidents such as theft. The doors of the house must be locked when leaving the house unattended, as well as, for those who live in buildings, it is important to certify the closure of the access door to the building.

If an inhabitant happens to notice that there are marks or tapes glued to the entrance doors of the building, attention must be redoubled, and the information given immediately to the police. Leaving nightlights on, or even clothes hanging, can be a way to alert potential burglars that there is movement in the house, reducing the chances of someone trying to enter the house.

At home, you should not keep all your valuable belongings in one place, such as money or even jewellery. If there is no other way to store your belongings, purchasing a safe can be the safest way to ensure that, in a more delicate situation, the damage is potentially less.

For more information, you can consult the website www.psp.pt to understand more about how you can protect your home.