The first phase of a video surveillance system in Portimão has already started operating in the areas, with 36 cameras now up and running at the entrances to Portimão and Praia da Rocha.
The installation of the network and all associated infrastructure was completed in October, and since last week authorities now have access to real-time images.
According to the local authority, “the 36 cameras are already monitoring and recording at various points, more specifically at the entrances to the municipality and in some arteries in Praia da Rocha”.
This council initiative aims to deter crime, especially on Avenida Tomás Cabreira, known 'Rua dos Bares' in Praia da Rocha, after many tourists and residents requested better security in the area due to the nightlife.
The cameras are positioned at the entrances to the city, such as the 'old bridge', the hospital roundabout, the crossing of Chão das Donas, Penina and the entrance through Alvor. They will also have an impact on Praia da Rocha, especially in the bar area, on the pedestrian path next to the cliff, from the Vau roundabout, then connecting to Avenida Tomás Cabreira, both in front of the nightlife establishments, and at the back.
Portimão is one of the first municipalities in the Algarve to implement a video surveillance system with these characteristics and size, in a measure that does not intend to replace the police authorities, but help to prevent crime and aid the police, speeding up the response and intervention when necessary. Potential criminals know that they are being filmed and that the images are being viewed by the PSP.
The authorities, in this case the Public Security Police, at local level, along with the district command, are the only entities that have access to the images.
The council points out that “the system has masks configured in the cameras themselves, to prevent the capture of images in sensitive places, such as private homes”.
The full costs of the process were €563,799.49, including the installation and maintenance of the video surveillance system, as well as the training of law enforcement officers who will operate the cameras.
This project was developed within the scope of the Smart Cities strategy of Portimão, along with the expansion of the Municipality's own communications network, not only with regard to fiber optics, but also in terms of creating electrical infrastructure and supplying poles which will allow free access to the internet for the local population.