Recession or Attacks?
Yes, recession is the correct word why the tourist industry is going down the pan worldwide and it is not just in the Portugal. Plus the added fact of the recent attacks against British Citizens weighs heavily on people’s minds should they have the money to pay for a holiday
There are many flight companies that have gone bust, travel agents and tourist companies have felt the full weight of the increase in oil prices, the downturn in the market and trying to survive when people just do not have the money for a holiday.
Please can some people get real stop blaming the McCann’s for Mark Warner going bust and the Algarve suffering because of the McCann’s.
Obviously the person who wrote this comment:
In the latest violent attacks on tourists, two British men were admitted to hospital after they were mugged in Albufeira on June 24 and, the day after, two Irish women were assaulted on the way back to their hotel in Praia da Rocha.
The two British men, aged 27 and 28, were the victims of an attack by a gang of four individuals at Rua Miguel Bombarda, near the Peneco beach lift, at around 4am of last Friday.
The thieves stole €200, credit cards and two watches from the victims, who were taken to Faro hospital following the attack to receive treatment for bruising.
A spokesman from the GNR police told the Algarve Resident: “The victims presented charges against the robbers, who pick-pocketed them and used physical violence during the assault. We are now investigating the case.”
This incident took place in an area known for criminal activity.
The following day, June 25, two Irish women aged 28 and 29 were attacked by three men in Praia da Rocha, Portimão, on their way back to the hotel at around 4am.
A spokesman from the PSP police said: “They suffered minor injuries. The robbers took their bags which contained money, credit cards and personal documents. The case is under investigation,”
Meanwhile, the president of the Algarve hotels and tourist resorts association (AHETA), Elidérico Viegas, says police reinforcements announced for the Algarve are not enough.
“During the year, there are 2,090 officers from the PSP and GNR police forces in the Algarve for a population of about 400,000 inhabitants. In the summer, the population doubles and the reinforcement of police officers announced is 100. That is clearly not enough,” he told the Algarve Resident.
“We have spoken with the former Minister of Internal Affairs, Rui Pereira, about this matter and are hoping that the new Government recognises that the crime problems we have in the region can only be resolved with more policemen. Tourism, which is essential for the Algarve, will unquestionably be affect by rising crime. It’s imperative that tourists feel and are safe.”
Algarve Câmaras Association president Macário Correia called for a meeting with the new Minister of Internal Affairs, Miguel Macedo, in order to discuss the problems of surrounding security in the region.
He told the Algarve Resident: “The 100 policemen who will be coming to the Algarve in July and August are simply not enough to provide effective security in the region. I hope that the new Government reconsiders this decision and deploys more police officers to the region this summer.”
And Albufeira Mayor Desidério Silva is concerned that rising crime in Albufeira is “undermining the image of tourism in the region”.
He told the Algarve Resident: “Police reinforcements proposed by the government for this summer season are not enough. Albufeira, and the rest of the Algarve, needs a security strategy and the new government needs to be aware of this and take action immediately. However, the region needs extra policemen all year round, not just in the summer.”
Portimão Mayor Manuel da Luz, meanwhile, has called for the installation of CCTV surveillance in the bars area of Praia da Rocha and the downtown area of Portimão in order to detect criminals.
“Crime occurrences are increasing and we need to implement CCTV surveillance in the busiest areas of Portimão council,” he said.
The subject of CCTV surveillance being installed in popular tourist areas of the Algarve is currently under discussion.
Do you have a view on this subject? Please email Editor Inês Lopes at firstname.lastname@example.org
British tourist Jonathon Mullen, one of the latest victims of violence in Albufeira after he was attacked by a gang just off the strip in Albufeira on May 22, has vowed never to return to the region.
He told the Algarve Resident: “I was over on holiday for a football tour. This was my first trip to the Algarve and I can assure you that it will be my last after my attack.”
Jonathon, who is a 24-year old butcher from East Sussex, has been over for a weekend trip and had been out in Albufeira with the football group when on the way back to their hotel, five of the group stopped for a hot dog at around 4am.
“I remember waiting for one of the group to go back for another hot dog when a gang of around four or five guys came up to some of the group and began to go through their pockets.
“They never asked for us to hand over phones or money because if they had, I would have handed everything over as we didn’t want a fight or a problem,” said Jonathon.
He added: “I walked over and the next thing I know I am being hit over the head with a glass bottle. As I fell onto the ground, one of the gang came up and kicked me in the face and from then on everything was a blur.”
The attack was described by Jonathon as “completely unprovoked and needlessly aggressive” and he sustained a broken nose, torn ligaments in his ankle and required stitches to his face, although no money or items were stolen from him.
“The only person who had a phone had it taken off him by the gang, who ran off when they saw that I was unconscious, so nobody was able to call the police and members of my group who tried to ask for help were met by bars closing their doors on them. We still have no idea who eventually called for help,” said Jonathon.
He added: “When I was in the hospital, I was on a trolley next to a guy from Manchester who I had seen earlier. He told me how he had been in a fight and he had been slashed all over his back.
“It is a real shame that we feel we cannot return to the Algarve now but some of the guys on the trip are only 18 years old, and we cannot expect parents to be happy with them going abroad to a place where it is not safe to go out at night.”
The incident was not officially reported to the police in Albufeira: “To be honest I didn’t really know what to do about the police and I just wanted to get home after the whole incident,” said Jonathon.
A British man has died in hospital in Faro following a suspected attack on him in the Montechoro area of Albufeira during the early hours of May 15.
The man, named as 50-year old Ian Haggath, was admitted to hospital and pronounced dead on May 25.
A spokesman from the Foreign Office confirmed the death of a British national on May 25 and said: “We are offering consular assistance to the family in the case.”
According to the Portuguese press, Ian Haggarth had been the victim of a failed robbery with the attackers punching him in the face before he fell to the floor and witnesses to the crime reported seeing a group of four men throwing stones and bottles.
A spokesman from Faro Hospital told the Algarve Resident: “The man had been found on the street and INEM emergency services brought him to the hospital for treatment.”
The spokesman added: “An autopsy is currently being carried out at the Faro Legal Medical Institute to hopefully aid the investigation and determine the cause of death.
“He had sustained several injuries, including head traumas, and was pronounced clinically dead. Family members were present throughout his hospitalisation and he died on May 25.”
The girlfriend of tragic Scots soldier Darren Lackie last night demanded a full investigation into his holiday death.
Shattered Ashleigh Wilson fears their drinks were spiked in the hours before her boyfriend was found lying unconscious in a Portuguese resort.
His cash and top-of-the-range mobile phone were missing.
Pretty hairdresser Ashleigh had complained of feeling unwell and unusually sleepy on the evening before Darren vanished.
He had paid for their first trip abroad together as a 21st birthday present for his childhood sweetheart.
When she next saw him in hospital, she identified him by a tattoo which read: “Laugh now, cry later.”
Black Watch lance corporal Darren never regained consciousness and died on Sunday.
Local police claimed the 6ft 3in soldier banged his head on a pavement after an accidental fall and that “no one else was involved”.
But yesterday, Darren’s father Graham revealed that the case has been reopened after he held talks with Portuguese authorities.
Toxicology reports showed Darren was sober when he was discovered.
But traces of a barbiturate commonly found in sleeping pills were discovered in his system.
Ashleigh fought back the tears yesterday as she recalled her last moments with Darren and her frantic search for him around the resort of Albufeira the following day.
As she tried to find her boyfriend, also 21, she didn’t know he was fighting for his life in intensive care.
Speaking from her home in Cupar, Fife, Ashleigh said: “It was the worst six hours of my life. I woke up in the morning and Darren wasn’t there.
“His phone was ringing out and I was frantic with worry because it was so out of character for him.
“I phoned our parents and spoke to the hotel. I eventually got some sense out of the police and hospital and tracked Darren down.”
The couple had spent their last night together having a couple of drinks at the Scots Rocks bar. They weren’t drunk and were enjoying a quiet, relaxing time together.
Ashleigh said: “There is something very wrong about what happened. I had to go home early that night.
“I think our drinks may have been spiked. We’d only had a couple at a local bar, but I felt really unwell.
“Darren took me back and as soon as I got in, I went to sleep and didn’t wake up for nearly nine hours, which is very unusual. I’ve never felt like that before.”
Ashleigh woke up to an empty room at her family’s timeshare apartment in the Oura-View Beach Club last Thursday.
She said: “Darren was nowhere to be seen and I had a feeling something was seriously wrong.”
After desperate calls home and a trip to the local police station, Ashleigh discovered that Darren was in hospital in Faro.
The hotel arranged a driver to take her there and she identified him by his tattoos – the motto “Laugh now, cry later” on the inside of his arms, an unfinished tribal design on his shoulder and a camel on his toe.
Ashleigh was told Darren had fallen and hit his head – but his injuries didn’t match that scenario.
He had a slight graze on his head and an injury behind his ear.
She also discovered that when he was found, his treasured HTC mobile phone and cash were missing.
While Ashleigh waited at Darren’s bedside, her mum Barbara and his parents Graham and Helen took the first flight to Portugal the next day.
Ashleigh said: “I’ve never felt so alone in my life.
“No one spoke English and I was in the hospital room with Darren.
“There were tubes everywhere but he didn’t have a mark on him. He looked very peaceful and asleep.
“He was such a big, strong guy, it was horrible seeing him looking so helpless in that bed. There was nothing I could do for him.”
Barbara, Graham and Helen arrived on Friday but by then, it was obvious that Darren had suffered a catastrophic head injury.
Ashleigh returned home and Darren passed away on Mother’s Day with Graham and Helen by his side.
Recalled her last moments with her boyfriend, Ashleigh said: “I told him I loved him and that he had to get better soon to get home and get his tattoo finished. Leaving him there was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I couldn’t believe I’d lost him.”
The couple met as first-years at Bell Baxter High School in Fife. They had an on-off relationship during school until Darren left to join up at 16.
They became an item again in November 2009, after he returned from his first tour of Afghanistan.
He was preparing for his second trip to the war zone but had talked about settling down with Ashleigh.
Her mum Barbara said: “We all loved him. He was the best thing that had happened to Ashleigh.
“He was the perfect boyfriend who did everything for her and looked after her everywhere they went.
“It’s just so tragic that his life has been cut short like this.”
Darren’s dad Graham, 51, was in talks with Portuguese prosecutors yesterday. He believes that police covered up his son’s death to protect the local tourist trade.
After the meeting, the postie from Cupar confirmed the case had been reopened. He added: “Whatever happens now, there will have to be some sort of conclusion.”
“It’s obvious looking at all the medical and toxicology evidence that something untoward has happened to my son and that he was attacked and robbed of his possessions.
“Whatever happens, I will never give up until the truth is uncovered.”
Oh and not forgetting the Foreign Office warning
The Foreign Office is warning holidaymakers of the dangers of violent attacks in the Algarve following the death of a British tourist in the popular resort of Albufeira.
Fifty-year-old Ian Haggarth from Gateshead in Tyneside died last week after being beaten by four youths. His death follows an attack of an Irish man in the same resort last month. The Foreign Office has updated its travel advice for the Algarve to warn that street crime in the region can occasionally turn violent.
The two men were attacked in the notorious Montechoro neighbourhood of Albufeira. Mr Haggarth was set upon by a gang in the early hours of the morning on May 15, near the three-star Janelas do Mar hotel where he was staying. He was robbed, beaten and left unconscious. He died last Wednesday in hospital.
A spokesman for the Foreign Office said this morning it had made “a very minor” change to its travel advice to alert holidaymakers about street crime in the Algarve.
Or are the family of missing child going to take the blame for the attacks as well.