Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tourists warned to be vigilant following street attacks in Albufeira


Portuguese police say they are still investigating recent street attacks on holidaymakers that have prompted the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office to amend its travel advice to tourists coming to Portugal.

Ian Haggath, 50, from Dunston, near Gateshead in the northeast of England, was ferociously attacked and left unconscious in a pool of blood in Albufeira a fortnight ago. He suffered serious head injuries and died in hospital last Wednesday. 

Described as "mild-mannered and friendly", Mr Haggath was attacked while walking back to his hotel in the early hours of the morning. It is thought he may have been the victim of a gang of youths.

There is speculation the same gang may have been responsible for the death in March of a British soldier, Darren Lackie, 22, from Cupar, Fife, and the non-fatal stabbing of an Irish tourist, David Hoban, 44, from Dublin.

A few minutes before Mr Haggath was set upon, another tourist is said to have been taunted, abused and had stones thrown at him by a gang of four.

Police initially treated Mr Lackie's death as the result of a drunken fall but a fresh inquiry was launched when medical reports showed he had not been drinking heavily. His father, Graham, is convinced his son was killed in an unprovoked assault.

All three men were attacked in the Montechoro area of Albufeira, popular because of its is restaurants, bars and clubs.

About 1.6 million Britons travel to Portugal each year. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office says that the number of violent attacks in Portugal is low but that there is still a need to take care. It has revised its travel guidance to Britons and warned them to remain alert at all times. 

A Polícia Judiciária spokeswoman told me today there was as yet no clear evidence the same gang carried out the three attacks but that investigations were continuing.   


The incidents are causing considerable concern within the Algarve. 
Elidérico Viegas, president of the Algarve's largest hotels' association, blamed the recent rise in violence on the government's failure to properly address the needs of a region whose economy is based on tourism.  

3 comments:

  1. DEAR SR /MADAM I SPEND A LOT OF TIME IN MONTECHORO AREA AND NEW IAN HAGGARTH WELL IT IS NO SUPRISE TO ME THESE THINGS ARE HAPPENING WHEN YOU CAN WALK UP AND DOWN THE STRIP AT ANY TIME OF THE DAY OR NIGHT AND BE OPENLY OFFERED DRUGS BY THE SAME PEOPLE TIME TIME AGAIN ALLTHE LOCALS AND BAR OWNERS KNOW WHO THESE LOW LIFES ARE THE SAME ONES WHO TRY TO SELL CIGERETTS ANG FAKE ROLEXS ON LOCAL MARKETS AND I DO NOT BELIVE THE GNR DONT KNOW WHO THEY ARE EVERYBODY ELSE DOES

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  2. The openly offered so called drugs you talk about are fake just like the watches & cigarettes that are full of stones and other muck, that is why the GNR can't charge these people ( & am sure they do know who they are) because they are not selling real drugs.

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  3. I recently just returned from albufeira where myself, uncle and cousin (who is only 16) were violently attacked from behind and robbed just off the main strip, the attackers then drove off. After robbing me and leaving my uncle unconscious we were taken to the hospital and police stations (who were no help at all). If travelling to albufeira remain vigilant in side streets and would advise all on thinking about going not to go! It is run down and tacky on the main strip

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