Edition 1505
15 December 2018
Edition: 1505

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MPs concerned with police, prison officer violence

by TPN/Lusa, in News · 08-03-2018 14:13:00 · 0 Comments

Portuguese MPs on the Constitutional Affairs Commission said on Wednesday that they were concerned with the levels of violence by police officers and prison guards and want to meet with the justice and the internal affairs ministers shortly.

MPs concerned with police, prison officer violence

Their position arose following a recent report from the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), which noted the persistence and even the worsening of cases of violence and abuse by Portuguese security forces and in the country’s prisons.
“The report is, unfortunately, a lesson and a reply to all those who think we are an example in matters of the rule of law. There cannot be any denial by the Portuguese state”, the main opposition party said.
The deputy whip of the ruling Socialist party, Filipe Neto Brandão, said the report did say there had been a recent reduction in prison overcrowding, but regretted the persistence of various “pathologies” in the police and prison systems.
This comes after Portugal’s home affairs inspectorate received 772 formal complaints about the security forces in 2017, 42 more than in 2016 and the highest number in the last four years.
The complaints submitted to the Inspectorate-General of Internal Administration (IGAI) relate to the PSP urban police force, the GNR police force, and the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) – all of which come under the Ministry for Internal Administration.
Of the total, 403 complaints were submitted by citizens and the rest, 369, by judicial authorities.
According to the figures provided to Lusa News Agency, in six years, the IGAI has received a total of 4,577 complaints. The last time the number of complaints was so high was in 2013, when there were 830.
Last year, the inspectorate dealt with 1,380 reports of possible police abuses, 608 of them carried over from 2016. Of the total dealt with during the year, inspectors concluded almost half of them (657); six prompted disciplinary proceedings.
In all, the IGAI started 16 disciplinary proceedings, compared with 10 in 2016.
Last year’s total includes two disciplinary proceedings against PSP officers following the use of firearms in cases that resulted in the death of civilians.
In the last six years, 11 PSP and GNR officers have been the subject of proceedings in such cases.

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Edition 1505
15 December 2018
Edition: 1505

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

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