French and Spanish police are helping Portuguese officers to protect tourists on the streets of Lisbon

Lisbon, Portugal: police on segways. Photo by Andrea Pravettoni

Portugal is developing as a tourist destination with three locations driving the growth: the cities of Lisbon and Porto, and the province of Algarve. It is primarily European travelers who have discovered Portugal, and based on a street level language recognition exercise, the majority of tourists who visit Portugal come from Britain, France, Spain, or Germany.

Portuguese police forces have started co-operation with French and Spanish officers on the streets of Lisbon to help tourists. Police from France and Spain are physically present and patrolling in Lisbon for the summer season of 2017, at least.

Since so many tourists from France and Spain visit Lisbon, and few people outside Portugal can speak Portuguese (apart from Brazil, but it is almost on the other side of the world), it appears like a marvelous idea to have officers who can speak foreign languages in Lisbon.

There is, however, other side to the Comisarias Europeas EU-level co-operation. Why Lisbon?

Well, according to OSAC the risk of violent crimes in Portugal is low, but petty crimes in tourist areas are a risk for all travelers. Lisbon and nearby attractions are the high risk areas for petty crimes. Tourist towns of Algarve are mentioned by OSAC as high risk areas as well.

Two other safety related issues travelers should be aware of in Portugal are road traffic and dogs. Traffic on Portuguese roads is often reckless, and dogs – big and small – run around free in cities and villages in Portugal.

Of course, there are safety issues in each and every country of the world. The nature of the issues vary, and a smart traveler can prepare for them.


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