About 200 PSP agents attacked in the first four months of this year

Data sent to the Lusa agency indicate that, between January 1 and April 30, the PSP recorded 203 attacks on police officers, 60 less than in the same period in 2019, when 263 were reported.

The PSP specifies that the reported police attacks are of “different types and severity”.

According to this security force, the cases of aggression against agents are transversal to the whole country “without special impact on a typology of an urban area or, even, on a certain type of occurrence”.

However, that police note that “there is a greater concentration of these episodes in the metropolitan areas of Lisbon and Porto”, being also the areas of responsibility of the PSP, with greater territorial extension, concentration of the population and the number of police officers.

The PSP also indicates that between March 22 and May 2, 2020, when the state of emergency was declared due to the covid-19 pandemic, 87 cases of aggression against police were reported, while in the same period of 2019 there were 110 cases.

Data from the Annual Internal Security Report show that, in 2016, 924 police officers were attacked, increasing to 942 the following year and, in 2018, 875 were registered, with no data for 2019 yet.

Contacted by Lusa, the president of the Association of Police Professionals (ASPP / PSP) considered the existence of aggressions against police officers to be serious, arguing that “more than the number is worrying the violence of the aggressions”.

Paulo Rodrigues pointed out that the attacks against police officers “are increasingly violent and carried out in groups”, stressing that, in recent years, threats to police officers have increased, as well as stoning.

“It is a trend that worries police officers and gives the impression that the police have lost authority,” he said.

Paulo Rodrigues clarified that, despite the decrease between January and April, this has not been the trend of recent years, having justified the reduction of aggressions against police officers with the state of emergency, since during this period the police action focused on basically in managing the pandemic and traffic situations.

For ASPP, “the frequent physical attacks on police officers are becoming part of the daily life of this institution”.

The ASPP president also considered that the PSP's national leadership has expressed concern and taken action in relation to the attacks on the police, but he warned of the need for a plan to minimize this situation.

In this sense, Paulo Rodrigues stated that last week the ASPP sent a proposal to the Government, the national directorate of the PSP, parliamentary groups and the General Inspection of Internal Administration (IGAI).

In the document, entitled “Aggressions against agents of authority”, the ASPP states that “a deep reflection on how to avoid or at least significantly mitigate this type of occurrences is necessary, which calls into question not only the physical and psychological integrity of the elements attacked, but it damages in a very serious, serious and sometimes irreparable way, the foundations that establish the authority of the State ”.

According to ASPP, among the proposals is the need to distribute individual ballistic protection vests to all policemen, the need to review the model of action on the ground and the immediate assignment of the assigned risk supplement due to the risk conditions.

ASPP also defends the use of 'bodycam' and GPS tracker in individual equipment, the abolition of individual patrols and more training.

CMP // JMR

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