We do have crime in Portugal, but it’s not violent crime. One of the reasons that there are so many Brazilians and so many South Africans coming to Portugal now is because Portugal is so much safer than their countries.
The crime rate has gone up in Portugal. Do you have houses burgled in Portugal? Yes, we do. But people are not violent. It’s not like in many other countries where they would probably shoot you first and steal from you afterwards. But they do have people breaking in and they have probably youngsters on scooters who rush past you and grab your handbag. But compared to many other countries, the crime rate overall is very low.
There are certain areas of Lisbon that are poor areas and in which the crime rate is quite high. Portugal has to be very careful because of its long coastline makes it a natural transit point for drugs. The influx of drugs that also comes from Morocco also causes crime. Unfortunately, gone are the days when most of the Portuguese could leave their keys in the front door and that’s absolutely fine; you can’t do that today, so you do have to be aware. But every foreigner that I know here says that when they come home late, they don’t feel intimidated and nervous like they would in other places. As far as statistics go, I know that the crime rate has gone up but its not astronomical like a lot of countries.
In England, in London, I’ve never had any incidents there but my mother’s house was burgled and totally wrecked. In Brazil, I was attacked on a Saturday coming back from the supermarket. I’ve never, fortunately, had anything like that happen here in Portugal.
A lot of people ask, “Carol, where would you like to go back to live?” To answer, I think it’s easier to say where wouldn’t you like to live and that would mainly be because of security and I don’t have that feeling at all here in Portugal. And I have to say most of my friends who are foreigners and Portuguese say the same thing. They all feel safe in Portugal.
(A village in Baganca, Portugal, pictured.)