The Programa Residência Segura (Safe Residence Program) was launched by the Guarda Nacional Republicana (GNR) in the Loulé area in January 2010. David Thomas who a resident of the Algarve who has some 37 policing and security experience, became involved in this Program around April 2010, by helping the GNR promote this mainly in the Loulé area and more recently in other areas of the Algarve through Safe Communities Algarve.
Safe Communities Algarve is now assisting the GNR in promoting the SRP and has developed a Guide to the Program to help residents find out more about the program; whether it covers their area and if so how to join. This publication has been endorsed by the Commander of the GNR Faro District who is responsible for GNR policing in the Algarve.
The SRP was launched in Alfeicao, Loulé in January 2010 following a number of violent indoor residential robberies targeted mainly against foreign householders in this area. The idea arose from discussions held between village residents and the GNR on how best to respond to this rise in crime though closer engagement between the community and the GNR.
Following these discussions the GNR in Loulé took the initiative to form a dedicated team with English speaking personnel exclusively to develop the program.
The aim of the Program was to provide a faster means of response to emergencies by the GNR through using maps, GPS coordinates and through the numbering of households in the villages concerned.
Residents in other villages also volunteered their services, and within the first few months of operation, other villages including Vale de Telheiro, Poco Geraldo, Cruz Do Assumada and Alfontes had joined the scheme. As of September 2011 the Program had grown to some 15 villages in the Loulé area covering around 900 households.
The outcome of the Loulé “experiment” proved very positive, resulting in a greater sense of security among residents, much faster response times to emergencies and a decrease in household crime in the areas concerned.
Given its success the program has been further developed and now operates throughout all 6 GNR divisions in the Algarve namely: Portimão, Albufeira, Silves, Loulé, Faro and Tavira under the coordination of the regional GNR headquarters in Faro.
Details of how the SRP is being developed and implemented, how it operates in practice and where to obtain more details can be found by downloading the following:
Download- Programa Residência Segura, 3rd Anniversary (In Portuguese) - GNR Nota de Imprensa 04/1
Download - 3rd Aniverssary Safe Residence Program - Algarve Resident - 1st February 2013.
As the SRP is still developing and it is expected
that more updates will become available in due course. These will be
published on this webpage so residents can keep up to date with developments.
Please include in your bookmarks or register to receive further updates
from Safe Communities Algarve
on its home page.