In THE EVOLUTION OF CRIME PART II, we promised to talk about Crime and its Prevention, however let me preempt the introduction and focus on our own local area of The Algarve, Portugal.
Clearly throughout Europe (and I guess The World) other parts of Portugal still have high levels of Criminality, but over the last 4 years The Algarve has enjoyed a steady reduction in Crime, particularly Burglary, which is really what these articles are about, rather than Murder, Mayhem, (love this next lot!!) : Corruptionism ; Malfeasance ; Malversation; Misprision (all criminal activities by those in Public Office…. Dohh!), Defalcationism is also in the aforementioned somewhere (meaning the act of stealing or embezzling) , Shoplifting or Bigamy Two spouses simultaneously, or even Polygamy, more than two spouses (these one’s definitely needs their bumps felt!)……………………...But, I digress (Who Me Guv?).
The downturn in Burglary and Home Invasion (I’ll explain the difference in my parting message later on) began around 2009 during which time there had suddenly begun a number of Aggravated Burglary or Home Invasion events carried out by a ‘team’ of our eastern European cousins who introduced violence into the Modus Operendi.
However, a strong initiative by the GNR shortly after this wave of violence began, resulted in the formation of the The Programa Residência Segura (Safe Residence Programme) which was launched by the Guarda Nacional Republicana in Alfeicao, Loulé in January 2010. This was closely followed by a Europe wide recession, which halted pretty much all building works and new builds in The Algarve, which meant those miscreants (n., adj wrong or evil doing peeps) who had labouring/odd job day jobs who supplemented their income with burglary then found it more difficult to make ends meet therefore either went home or moved to less protected areas. …………… and there’s more.
Residents also had the ‘Wake Up Call’ that The Algarve of 25 years ago was no longer the same haven they first came to and became aware of the necessity to protect themselves, their valuables and their property
The emergence of security companies like mine also developed a faster more effective response time with high profile patrol vehicles in their operational areas, which became a major deterrent.
To round this up, if we now apply the 20/80 theory that showed 20% of criminal activity created 80% of the burglaries so with the neutralization of the ‘teams’ in a very short space of time this reduced criminal activity to 10% ergo reduction of burglaries now 40%.
The important thing to remember is maintain this awareness as crime has not gone away and that personal and home security is still very important.
Even though the main criminal activity these days is opportunism, remember this : security is just buying time. That is an important ‘take home’ and one to never forget. Locks, Alarms and other deterrents are all buying time and are not foolproof, locks can be picked (at your service Ma’am) or doors/windows broken and deterrents can be avoided by an observant criminal.
Alarms will send signals, but make sure the security response company is reliable and quick, as any time over 5 minutes means a greater loss of valuables and more chance of vandalism and damage!
There’s a notable difference between a ‘Burglary’ and a ‘Home Invasion’. The difference is YOU.
If you’re home it’s a Home Invasion. If you’re not home then it’s a Burglary!
Criminals don’t always know what they’re walking into during the day, but at night it’s a different story.