5,000 Algarve homes in the Safe Residence Programme

Three years after its launch in January 2010 the GNR’s Safe Residence Programme (SRP) now reaches some 5,000 homes throughout the Algarve.

Algarve Safe Homes Car HireThe Faro GNR command this week gave a positive assessment of the programme, which was implemented following a wave of violent residential robberies in and around Loulé in late 2009.
Of the 5,000 homes the programme covers, around 2,100 are in Loulé.

“This policing programme, which brings the GNR closer to the public, was ‘born’ in Loulé (…), from the necessity to do something about the rising feeling of insecurity felt in this part of the Algarve towards the end of 2009, as a consequence of a series of robberies involving extreme violence in luxurious and isolated properties”, the GNR explained.

The majority of properties are “mainly inhabited by foreigners, which because of their difficult location, associated with an absence of reference points and the language barrier, present a strong challenge to the GNR’s ability to respond”, it was explained.

The Safe Residence Programme (SRP) was designed mainly to help the GNR locate and respond quickly in an emergency to residents living in rural areas. This is achieved through the gathering and recording of each property’s geographic location data.

GPS coordinates and house numbers of each registered property are put onto maps so the GNR police can respond more efficiently in the case of an incident.

It was developed through conversations between villagers from rural dwellings such as Alfeição, where the project was launched, and GNR officers in Loulé.

David Thomas, founder of the Safe Communities Algarve Association, who promotes and supports the GNR’s SRP project among the foreign communities in the Algarve through exhibitions and seminars, told The Portugal News he thinks the programme has been “an extremely successful scheme, and one that other countries could learn from.”

In the last year alone Mr. Thomas’s association has received in the region of 300 enquiries regarding the SRP, which was originally intended for remote areas.
“It brings the public and the police closer together”, he adds.

Last year it was announced that, due to its success, the Safe Residence Programme would be rolled out to the rest of the country.

For more information, see: www.safecommunities, or enquire at your local GNR police station.

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