Justice 4 ALL Madeleine McCann Family
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BRITISH COUNSEL ADVICE ON MISSING CHILDREN ABROAD

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BRITISH COUNSEL ADVICE ON MISSING CHILDREN ABROAD

Post by Pedro Silva on Mon Oct 10, 2011 7:47 am

My friends, this was taken from JATYK:

http://ukinportugal.fco.gov.uk/en/help-for-british-nationals/how-we-can-help/child-abduction

In Portugal...it seems that they give help to the Parents of missing children.....no wonder that a Consulate Member was there then.

Another myth destroyed.
-------------------------------------------------------------
My friends this was taken from The Portugal News:

Former Interpol consultant helping fight Algarve crime

Former Interpol consultant helping fight Algarve crime
8/10/2011

A British crime prevention expert who has founded the only crime prevention consultancy agency in the south of Portugal is liaising with Portuguese police to help develop crime-fighting measures as well as promoting crime prevention among the region’s communities, strengthening the bridge between the two.

David Thomas’s career in policing and security spans more than four decades and various countries. After 31 years with the Hong Kong police, where he was a former Assistant Commissioner, he spent a number of years working as a consultant with Interpol and the UN Office for Drugs and Crime.

In 2005 he moved to the Algarve, where he has owned a home for 15 years.

“I noticed towards the end of 2009 that there were some fairly serious crimes taking place, particularly in the Loulé area”, he says, recalling a number of house robberies with firearms, “which is quite unusual for the south of Portugal.”

Feeling the matter needed attention, Mr. Thomas, 65, approached the Faro Civil Government to offer his expertise and help contribute towards improving security in the Algarve.

The offer was welcomed and a series of meetings were held with the civil governor and the police. The meetings evolved into “a good exchange of ideas on how crime could be tackled and various other matters, particularly concerning crime prevention”, which lead to the forming of ISECA.

The Independent Security Agency (ISECA) was officially established a few months ago, creating a fully independent platform that provides advice on crime prevention and security solutions to individuals, companies and communities, as well as liaising with the police.

Mr. Thomas says the police have been “very receptive” to his suggestions – “certainly we’ve had some good meetings” – and he has since seen a number of initiatives discussed round the table being put into practice.

The GNR force’s ‘Safe Residence’ neighbourhood-watch programme was the outcome of one idea that Mr. Thomas helped develop. “I helped in the initial stages. Not at the very beginning, I confess, it was not my idea. It was a very good idea.”

Now a successful region-wide scheme, Mr. Thomas believes the ‘Safe Residence’ programme is an example of how the police and public are working closer together. He encourages the police to invest in their communications, to enable a greater public understanding of how they work and improve community engagement, which in his opinion “is very important.”

Two suggestions made by Mr. Thomas were, that the GNR translate their website into English and that they make their reception centres more user-friendly.

“I think the police are aware of the difficulties sometimes with communicating with foreign residents, you can’t blame the police necessarily, it’s a two-way thing, there has to be a willingness from the public also to understand and work closely within the community, to understand perhaps where the police are coming from”, he says.

Understanding the Portuguese security forces are bridled by a lack of resources, Mr. Thomas is highly complimentary of the progress they have made in recent years.

“At the moment, with the resources available, [the police] do what they can to fight crime here”, he says, adding: “There have been a lot of changes in the last year or so and we’re better placed now to tackle crime than we were some time ago perhaps.”

Addressing crime in the Algarve, Mr. Thomas stresses: “There’s public perception, then there’s reality.”

Studies, he says, indicate that at present the fear of crime is higher than crime itself: “There’s a perception that crime here is worse than what it is”, he explains, adding: “Crime in Albufeira in 2010 was the lowest it has been for 10 years.”

In his experience, high profile crimes will always influence people’s perceptions of crime in a particular area, “even if the risk of it happening is extremely low.”

One of ISECA’s key areas of intervention is providing advice to individuals and communities on how to keep themselves, their families and their homes safe. Much of this, he says, is common sense, though “it is always good to have a degree of awareness.”

“So many crimes here are opportunist-type crimes and that’s where the problem is, because everybody loses.”

Basic measures, such as not hanging bags on the back of chairs in restaurants or putting wallets down momentarily while browsing through markets stalls, setting house alarms when going out for the day and making sure all windows are closed, are key to avoiding being a victim of crime.

“If you’re wearing a big Rolex watch or a gold necklace and you walk out at three o’clock in the morning from a bar then yes, the risk of you becoming a victim of crime, as it would be in any country, increases a great deal.”

Other areas ISECA covers include risk assessment studies for businesses and companies as well as carrying out independent studies. Mr. Thomas was recently asked to undertake a risk assessment for a leading hotel in Lisbon, where there was a “very high profile conference” with an international audience and around 500 participants; the organisers “wanted a risk assessment against any possible risks to that conference.”

Drawing interesting comparisons between Portugal and his time in Hong Kong, Mr. Thomas feels a ‘family culture’ shared by the two could be one of the biggest similarities.

He describes Hong Kong as a “very vibrant, very crowded, highly populated area with a traditionally low crime rate”, which he attributes to once-abundant resources. “Therefore the police themselves were comparatively well-equipped and with a large number of police officers in a small area.”

“We were very fortunate to be able to take a number of initiatives to fight crime”, he explained, adding: “There was also a lot of engagement between the police and the public including the ethnic minorities and that is something I would like to encourage here. It’s important that the various community groups work closely with the police.”

Here in Portugal, he observes, the crime rate “is also lowish – quite low compared with many other countries. It does vary in different parts of the country and at different times of year but the police and the authorities quite clearly do not have the abundance of resources that we did in Hong Kong”, he reasons.

This, he stressed, is where it becomes more important that the public help the police: “The police themselves acknowledge that they can’t do all of this on their own.”

In Mr. Thomas’s opinion, crime prevention “is not just the responsibility of the police, but it is also a responsibility of the community.”

“There are a number of things that can be done and if these things were done then it would put less workload on the police and they can then devote more energy to more important, serious crimes. Everybody wins from that situation.”

For more information on ISECA, see: www.iseca.net, or call: 913 045 093. For more information on the GNR’s ‘Safe Residence’ (Residência Segura) programme, call: 289 887 605.

Carrie-Marie Bratley

http://www.theportugalnews.com/

My friends, to have access to news above, once you´re inside of The Portugal News link above, scroll down, look for this, then click at:

Former Interpol consultant helping fight Algarve crime

you will be able to read the news about former interpol:

General Algarve Lisbon Business Sport July golf, flights and revenue all up on 2010
Algarve gains popularity among foreign bird watchers
Five star hotel occupancy soars
Landing gear problems cause panic at Portela
British holidaymaker blinded following ‘glassing’ in Albufeira
Former Interpol consultant helping fight Algarve crime
Confusion as Oeiras mayor is arrested, then set free
Portugal tap water quality ‘excellent’
More protection wanted for minors on social networks
Heatwave across Portugal
Hopes high for annual grape harvest despite weather
Portuguese are Europe’s most depressed
Vets highlight animal's plight in Portugal on World Animal Day
Electricity and gas go up
Absenteeism six times higher amongst civil servants
Agriculture ministry unaware of any listeria cases in the country
Jobless figures stabilise at 12.3 percent
IT company celebrates anniversary with spelling guide
Timorese resistance leader awarded honorary doctorate
EDP and REN to be privatised through direct sale
Banking industry has “lots of work” to do - BNP Paribas
Swiss embassy reopens as strike is called off
The Heritage of the Monsters.







Pedro Silva
Grand Member
Grand Member

Number of posts : 5566
Location : Portugal
Registration date : 2008-10-20

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