TODAY’S PHOTO : Thanks to Helen … taken at the featured village of the week, Porta da Cruz, but no mention yet in the Diário of the Smurf family that seem to be living there.
Front Page News : source : Diário de Notícias 26/2/2009
Main Headline : ‘Hospital takes years to return possessions’ – follows a story about a family in Jardim da Serra who were asked to come and collect a small amount of money (equivalent to €60) and other items that they had ‘kept safe’ for a patient there 26 years ago, in the hospital safe. The patient who owned the money died during that internment years ago. At the time it was a lot of money, but now somewhat devalued, and of course in the old currency of ‘escudos’. The hospital says there are many other such cases of stored property still to be returned.
Credit card cloning seems to be becoming a problem, as the Diário reports on incidences occurring in South America and the Middle East using cards that are registered to Madeirans. The police are currently investigating 10 complaints involving cloning and fraud, and have established that they are being committed without the PIN numbers being disclosed. One person has lost €938, and her bank (Banif) refuses to accept responsibility because a PIN code was used, even though the card owner had not disclosed it. The problem is arising with people who have travelled and used their credit cards abroad.
Three dolphins has been washed up dead on the coast in a week. The latest was young, nearly 2 metres in length, weighing around 100 kilos. They have appeared at Reis Magos, Ponta Delgada, and the latest at Calheta. The latest casualty will be taken for autopsy, but was found with fishing tackle in it’s mouth. The three dolphins are of different species, so it is believed that their deaths are not connected.
The front page football story is about the embarrassing 0 – 5 football scoreline for Sporting in the home Champions League fixture against Bayern Munich.
As predicted, Carlos Carvalhal has been appointed the new manager of Marítimo.
The featured town or village of the week, Porta da cruz, tells more of it’s story about it’s lack of facilities. In fact why these accounts make headline status is beyond me, and if I were the editor I would make this feature disappear and I don’t think anyone would notice.
Other News :
As mentioned a few days ago, the Portuguese airline TAP has now published its new ultra-low prices. You can now travel from Lisbon to Madeira for €41, and return for €47, all taxes included … “the cheapest prices ever for Madeira”. The trouble is now that because the base price (before taxes / surcharges) may be below €30, residents and students will be unable to claim back their ‘mobility rebate’, an entitlement for locals travelling on the Madeira – Portugal route.
I see Easyjet are having yet another sale of up to 25% on flights taken between 25th March and 30th June, including Easter, if booked by midnight on Tuesday. I didn’t look to see what was on offer for Madeira, but I know on previous sales people have been disappointed.
A new recycling initiative is launched today, called ‘Green Cork’. The collection of used corks will be used to produce other materials, such as insulation for buildings, being more environmentally friendly than synthetic materials. A collection container will be installed at the Dolce Vita shopping centre in Funchal.
“The appeal to employers (by President Jardim) at a dinner was not to employ only the Madeirans, but to give priority to those living in the region, whether naturals of Madeira or not.” An advisor to the Presidency of the Government, says the original statement caused some confusion. “In fact, the president asked that work is given to people who live here, and that companies do not need to bring workers from outside. It was never said it was only for Madeirans, it was for residents, born in the region or not”. The same explanation has been given to associations of African peoples, the peoples of East, and to the group SOS Racism.” Considering Bertie was alleged to have made that statement a couple of months ago, it has taken a long time to issue a statement clarifying the matter. I am sure that immigrants must now feel much happier, even though this ‘clarification’ was buried deep in the rest of the local news, not to be seen by most employers.
I referred yesterday to a response to an old blog news item (10th January) which came in on Wednesday :
Blog : ‘Something else that has gone quiet for sometime is the muggings in Pico da Torre, a popular tourist haunt in Câmara de Lobos. But they haven’t gone away, as two tourists were mugged there at knife-point on Thursday. Two rucksacks were taken and were later found by police with nothing missing except money.’
Anonymous blog response : “You will be amazed, but my wife was robbed in Pico da Torre and the police recovered the purse, credit cards and all there, except the cash. Purse mailed internationally home about 4 months later for Christmas…”
What can one say, even though 4 months is a long time, but maybe that’s the fault of the post rather than the post.
We live in a land of old fashioned ‘cops and robbers’, where crime is relatively rare and unsophisticated, and the police are in touch with the people and nearly always know what is going on. We don’t need separate ‘community bobbies’ because our police know the people and the problems, and know those who commit the crimes and where to find them. The problem is usually proving it, but even so they nearly always get their man, and justice prevails (whether it be a good kicking in a police cell, or a visit to court, depending on the nature of the crime and the person who did it).
So reconstructing this story is simple :
1. Tourist visits Madeira and gets mugged on a levada walk. The matter is reported to the police.
2. The police visit the scene almost immediately, take the details, search for the stolen items nearby until found, and pay a visit to the mugger (where justice is then administered).
3. The recovered stolen envelope is then popped into an envelope and returned to the owner.
RESULT : CRIME SOLVED, OFFENDER PUNISHED, STOLEN GOODS RETURNED, MINIMUM POLICE EFFORT AND COST REQUIRED (
Now imagine a Madeiran getting mugged in a foreign country, lets say England for example.
1. Tourist gets mugged, and telephones police. He or she gets given a crime number, and the police may or may not attend the crime scene, sometime in the next week or two.
2. The police are too busy because there are too many other muggings and more serious crimes, so the crime report is filed away and they don’t have a clue who did it or really care.
3. Some weeks after an honest member of the public finds the stolen purse and takes it to a police station, where it sits in lost property for a few weeks, or on someones desk.
4. A bright copper, looking for change for the coffee machine, then puts two and two together and matches the recovered purse to the crime.
5. The purse then gets tagged as evidence, and sits around for another few weeks while the police continue not investigating.
6. Having allowed the case to go cold with no chance of an arrest, it is then decided that something needs to be done with the purse. This decision making process involves several senior officers, a committee or two, and probably a great deal of legal advice.
7. The legal advisor decides that because the purse is made of leather, it may have come from an endangered species, so it is sent to a labatory for analysis. The analysis result is that it is cow skin, so it is deemed free to be released.
8. The police then contact the Madeiran, who
by this time has returned to Madeira (and quite possibly expired), and told that they will need to return to Madeira to collect the purse, so it can be signed for. The Madeiran (or family of) says returning to Madeira is not possible because it is too expensive. This sends the police into a frenzy, but after a lot more top brass involvement and a few committee meetings, they decide to post the item to Madeira, despite breaching strict police proceedures.
9. The police then have to requisition a larger than normal envelope, a process that will take several weeks, but eventually put the purse in the post.
10. The mail company return the envelope undelivered, because of insufficient postage to an overseas address : OR the package gets lost, stolen, or sufficiently damaged that it cannot proceed on it’s journey.
So now you know why I think that the police here are great?
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