Police stations are crucial in their role of enforcing the sense of safety in communities. Thus, seven years after closure of the Police Station in Cedofeita, the day 2nd June 2020 marks the inauguration of the new police facilities in the same area in Porto, following the necessary diligences with the Ministry of the Internal Administration (MAI) and the parish council, with Porto City Hall as mediator.
In 2013, Mayor of Porto Rui Moreira already had singled this location in Cedofeita as the best place to lodge the precinct building and keeping law enforcement - PSP - and the community closer.
This police station is placed in a building that belongs to the Union of Parishes of Porto Historic Centre, and after remodelling and adjusting to the new role, it now gathers all the best conditions to host the police corps, respective vehicles and equipment. Also, it's a zone of prime location with good accessibilities.
The precinct building is located at number 16 of Praça de Pedro Nunes, which was designed by Júlio de Brito in 1934, one of the most renowned architects and engineers of the city of Porto, who has, for instance, also designed Teatro Rivoli.
The official opening ceremony took place yesterday, on 2nd June, and Mayor of Porto, Rui Moreira recalled all the way back to the summer of 2013, the time the old police station was closed because it was fairly derelict and it was also a building that MAI rented to a private party.
"Almost seven years ago, when we won the elections to Porto City Hall, one of the major concerns in the city was the announcement of the closing of the police station in Cedofeita", Rui Moreira stated.
The solution, as affirmed by Rui Moreira, "was that the parish could hand in the building to set in the police station".
"And today, after the necessary works and adjustments, we now have a proper police station to serve this area of the city, which is telling of the respect to law enforcement and to what the PSP means to the population", the Mayor of Porto enhanced, also stating that "what matters is that police forces should be a visible presence in the streets, as opposed to having lots of precincts".
Noteworthy as well, is the collaboration between MAI, the PSP and the Municipality of Porto during the ongoing pandemic, as affirmed by Rui Moreira.
"These difficult times have strengthened relations between the population, the PSP, the Municipal Police and the GNR. People understood that the presence of the State is also done through the protection and safety of citizens", and "citizens have displayed exemplary behaviour", much due to "the educational role by the police forces", namely the PSP and the Municipal Police, to whom the Mayor thanked for their commitment.
Rui Moreira also thanked the Minister of Internal Administration, Eduardo Cabrita, who played an "exemplar" role in this crisis.
Yet, "there is a lot to do still", Rui Moreira warned, "as during the pandemic there was a market that did not close: the drug market".
In turn, the Minister of Internal Administration, Eduardo Cabrita emphasised that "after three especially difficult months, this is an important moment to Porto, to PSP and to MAI. And it also marks the first public ceremony after the most critical period of the crisis so far. Doing it in Porto symbolizes the regaining of freedom, something that The Invicta has shown to lead so many times in history", affirmed the Minister.
Eduardo Cabrita further mentioned that "yesterday (1st June) was a happy day for Porto as no new Covid-19 case had been reported in Porto and in the region".
In Porto, out of the 1.900 police officers, 76 were infected by the new coronavirus, the highest ratio at national level, which was swiftly dealt with by the Metropolitan command.
The National Director of the PSP, Chief Superintendent Magina da Silva, highlighted that "the opening of new police precincts are always high points because they are the home of police officers".
Magina da Silva shares Rui Moreira's views that it is important to increase policing in the streets to enhance the sense of safety and that can only be achieved "through a rational and logic approach of the national police stations mechanisms".
The Superintendent-Chief also informed that Porto Metropolitan Area has 44 police stations that serve circa 1.3 million people. Neighbouring Spain, namely the Madrid region, for example, has 33 police stations to circa 7.5 million people.
Magina da Silva also thanked Porto City Hall's recent offer of 10 vehicles for street patrolling.
Following the ceremony, the Minister of MAI and other guests were invited to Mayor of Porto's official residence, the Casa do Roseiral, for an official lunch.