Escalating crime causes concern

Funchal on alert

Crime headline in JM

JM headlines that the occurrence of crime in Funchal is multiplying. The most serious happened on Sunday night when a burglar died after being stabbed by the owner of a residence in Caminho do Poço Barral (full report below). 

The Mayor of Funchal, Pedro Calado demands “reinforcement of means, wherever it may be”, including the “unarmed army”, although he classifies the city as “safe”. Presidents of the Boards of Santo António, São Roque and Monte give voice to the fears of the population. 

The newspaper also covers the story that a tourist died after feeling unwell during a pedestrian walk in Pico das Pedras, in the municipality of Santana on the way to Teixeira da Achada (Pico Ruivo waking trail) – the location of the sad occurrence has moved slightly from previous reports late yesterday.

Burglar dies after being stabbed

Mayor calls for army policing

The worst-case crime scenario ended with a robbery at a house on the Caminho do Poço Barral, in Santo Amaro (on the way from the city centre to Madeira Shopping), on Sunday night. According to DN Madeira, the individual who robbed the house ended up dying by stabbing, and the alleged perpetrator of the crime was arrested and will answer for murder.

The same source adds that the episode began when the son of the owner of the house was involved in a physical confrontation when he came across the presence of two intruders in the backyard, who were allegedly stealing fruit. The security police were called to the scene, but by the time they arrived the assailants had fled. However, according to the same publication, the two individuals returned to the house as soon as the patrol car left the place, having again made a new attempt at the residence of Caminho do Poço Barral.

Realizing the situation, the resident appeared armed with a knife to defend himself against the two assailants who were back. The reunion will have started with a scene of beating, but it ended tragically, and, according to the Diario, the resident ended up delivering a blow that hit one of the assailants in the chest. This one fell inanimate. The other ran away.

The same source states that the aggressor turned himself in and went under detention to the Funchal Police Station, where he was accused of committing the crime of murder.

Today, Monday, the man will be before the first judicial interrogation for his crime.

COVID-19 in Madeira: updates can be found in an earlier post

All the incidental news from Madeira – up to 60 reports per day – is being continually picked up automatically, translated, and instantly posted on our sister website, madeiraislandnews, no matter how trivial:

21 thoughts on “Escalating crime causes concern”

  1. Good morning,
    My wife and I have booked a holiday to your beautiful country, we have been holidaying in Madeira on a regular basis for forty years.
    Just lately I have been disturbed to read of the growing incidence of crime particularly robberies in Funchal.
    Can you please give me some reassurance that we will be safe during our planned visit in December?
    I understand that there are limits to what you can promise but a little reassurance would be nice.
    kind regards,
    Desmond Wilcox

    • Desmond, obviously every incident gets high publicity because the island has such a safe reputation. Do not worry too much but do take sensible precautions, which you should do wherever you may be. For example; if eating at an outside table of a restaurant do not leave wallets/purses/phones etc visible. Keep bags etc secure from opportunist thieves. When walking around town keep your phone in your pocket and look at the architecture rather than walking along looking at Twitter/Facebook etc on the phone. Keep eyes and ears open. In other words just be aware of your surroundings and you’ll be fine.

    • Desmond, as Maurice says (and I have direct experience of this recently!) just exercise the usual caution. Don’t leave wallets and phones on display. I would suggest using a small rucksack to counter any opportunistic thieves – and there are some around in any city, sometimes working in small organised groups (not always locals), but no different to anywhere in the UK. Their excuse for petty crime is the pandemic, which in the mind of some young Madeirans gives them a legitimate reason to redistribute wealth. Just remain alert and pay particular attention in shopping centres and underground car parks.

      The chances of anything happening are slim – I have walked around Funchal for decades and never witnessed anything untoward. Have a good holiday!

  2. In my opinion home owner should not be charged at all as he was defending himself and his property.
    Anyone entering premises with the intention of committing a crime should lose all their rights, too much consideration given to criminals instead of the victims of crime.

    • And the UK is the country of the county line drugs spread over all the countryside villages and hamlets a big problem that the UK government doesn’t do anything .

  3. I think the reporting needs to be completely fact based and not sensationalised or based on speculation. Is this an increase in crime or an increase in reporting of crime? How do the crime stats compare with the Canaries for example. Without a comparison the story is pretty meaningless. Crime exists everywhere to a certain extent. The stabbed burglar story is bound to attract the attention of the media. Where is the evidence of North African gangs operating in Funchal? The consequences of starting a moral panic if this reaches the national press in the UK or across Europe will be a reduction in tourism leading to economic downturn and more crime. The predominant type of tourists visiting Madeira are particularly sensitive to these issues as evidenced by Desmond’s post. Let’s be careful both in the reporting of and comments on these issues. As an older (60s) regular tourist to Madeira I have never felt unsafe.

  4. Andrew, like you I have never felt unsafe and as you say, “The predominant type of tourists visiting Madeira are particularly sensitive to these issues as evidenced by Desmond’s post” but they are not going to sit and compare crime statistics. This is a holiday, the last thing they want is to be told, don’t go to that part of Funchal, it can be a bit rough. Madeira is a small island, it’s newspaper is produced for the islanders and the recent happenings are news, big news, to them. The newspaper is doing it’s job. I find it hard to blame them. I don’t think the locals are panicking, these are the same sort of stories as we get in our local paper in the UK. The damage will come as you say by one big story hitting the European press and visitors returning telling of druggies, alcoholics and rough sleepers. This needs immediate and positive action by the Police. As to the Governor and Mayor announcing they want to put the Army on the streets, I despair.

    • … I don’t think even amongst the particularly sensitive visitors to Madeira very few will be put off from coming here or returning, I’m sure that the vast majority are intelligent enough to see through the media hype without looking at statistics and realise these are a few isolated and unrelated cases, for those who can’t it’s their loss ,, it’s a difficult one for the government, Do nothing and the media and other parties will criticise, come down hard and that will get over publicised and still create a panic ,, knee jerk reactions would cause the same harm, but as I said my opinion is not many would be convinced of any real threat anyway if they read the few stories …

  5. Back to the post at the top, the two burglars in the post were according to another report I read were in fact trying to steal fruit from the garden, see it all the time and has been happening for donkeys years, but it does lead to asking that the man trying to protect his property was way over the top in confronting the perpetrators with a knife, it is now a situation where he is going to be prosecuted for murder all for the sake of some fruit, we have a garden and it produces some nice fruit and we had the same problem with others entering and stealing, I retaliated by installing cctv cameras, the problem disappeared, the motto being better to use the head first.

    • Walter, how much would you like to pay for a four star hotel. You get what you pay for, if you don’t like the what you’re paying go to a smaller hotel. I pay as low as 60 Euros for a four star but I haven’t got a 30 metre glass chandelier in the foyer. I haven’t got a bar that charges me £8.00 for a G & T. But I have got some wonderful staff that can’t do enough for me.

  6. There should be a written law ..that persons protecting their property and family from thieving scum …have the right to use any means necessary…they are not at fault ..I hope this guy has no criminal proceedings against him …

    If he does it will give the scum of the island who are involved in criminal activity an open invitation to commit more crime and be protected by the soft justice that is often given …
    Right from wrong …we are all taught …those that do wrong should answer to the consequences


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