“Safe Communities Madeira”
I had the pleasure of meeting the “Safe Communities Portugal” project in Funchal recently. The organisation was there to establish further connections with the various organisations that police the island and to promote the addition of a Madeira section to their website. SCP (and Safe Communities Madeira) is a non-profit crime prevention and public safety organisation aiming to assist the English-speaking population and visitors. This can be quite difficult, as the policing of Portugal is quite complex, with responsibility for different areas of policing split between PSP, GNR, Judicial Police, SEF and the Civil Protection Authority – interestingly the division of responsibilities is not quite the same in the archipelago as on the mainland. Extensive information on crime prevention and crime reporting can be found on their website.
SCP President, David Thomas, is a very passionate and interesting individual who was awarded the British Empire Medal in the New Year Honours List in 2016, in recognition of his “services to crime prevention and awareness within the British and international community in Portugal”. His primary aim is to assist in breaking down any perceived barriers between the English-speaking community and the different law enforcement agencies in Portugal. He has the right CV for this, having served in the Hong Kong Police for 30 years as a Deputy Regional Commander, retiring as an Assistant Commissioner, before moving to the Algarve. Among his more interesting jobs he headed up the VIP Protection Unit in Hong Kong, as well as a consultant to INTERPOL and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Loves Madeira and is a regular visitor!
Flower Festival to feature vintage cars again
The Flower Festival this year, which runs from May 4 to 21, will once again feature a parade of old cars and motorcycles. The parade, on Sunday May 14, will, start at Praça da Autonomia, and travel southbound along Avenida do Mar ending at the roundabout accessing the Port of Funchal. There are 400 vehicles registered already, including 150 motorcycles.
Monte road closure
The ER 103 between Monte and Poiso has been closed temporarily after attempts to stabilise the slopes above the road led to a small rock fall. The slopes lost their trees and vegetation in the fires of August last year and were considered dangerous. Weather conditions locally have not helped the project, and it is like that the road will remain closed until the end of the month. This is the main road heading north from Monte through Rebeiro Frio to Faial on the north coast, so tourists heading that way will have to head towards Camacha and pick up the ER203. The Diario reports that there are complaints that the closure is not actually signposted before you get to Monte. As a reminder of the fires there was a small outbreak in Santana yesterday which destroyed a small area of forest before being brought under control by local firefighters.