Portuguese police officers don’t get the same rights as police officers in northern European countries, the President of SINAPOL has said.
Armando Ferreira, who is President of SINAPOL, the Portuguese National Police Officers’ Union, was speaking at the EuroCOP spring meeting in Gibraltar.
He said: “The challenges our members face are common to all police officers in Europe. But currently we are initiating a new Government in Portugal, and what we are expecting from the new minister is that he sees policing as a house – he must not be worried about the roof, he must be worried about the base.
“The organisation does not exist without the people. We have been fighting for rights for many years, and the Government does not give us anything. Last year we received risk pay for police officers in Portugal of just 60 euros a month. They say our risk is worth 60 euros.
“We have asked the new minister to review that. Another challenge is progression in a policing career. Some officers are in ranks that rise to the top immediately, in other cases they remain at the base forever. We cannot accept that.”
Armando said that SINAPOL had only just rejoined EuroCOP, after it left in 2013. He said it was important that the Portuguese police union had a larger voice in Europe.
He said: “We’ve always said that the difference between the rights of the police officers in the north of Europe must not be very far from the rights of police officers who work in the south or in the Mediterranean. That happens. We see a big difference, but there should be European rights for all police officers. We are all police officers and the criminals are all the same in Europe, and they do the same thing.
“If the criminals are the same, why are the police different? Why are the police rights different? And why is there such a big difference in police wages? Portugal is not the worst, but it’s not the best either. I think EuroCOP is very important as the voice of the police in Europe.”