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Posted by portugalpress on September 11, 2017

Following hot-on-the-heels of another horrific fight in which one tourist lost two fingers and suffered serious head injuries - and days since Albufeira barman and father Paulo di Santo lost his brave battle for life - firefighters have warned something serious needs to be done in Albufeira if the authorities are to get a handle on the rising tide of violence.

“The number of accidents and physical aggressions” in the borough have “increased drastically” this year - particularly in August - writes national tabloid Correio da Manhã, citing warnings by local fire chief Zua Coelho that the situation is more than likely to continue into September.

“It’s urgent” that something is done, he told the paper.

Firefighter manpower has to be beefed, says Coelho, explaining there “is an imbalance in terms of response” for even the permanent population - let alone the numbers that flood in during the holiday season.

“This year we have seen an increase in our operational activity, principally when it comes to sudden illnesses, road traffic accidents and aggressions associated with the excessive consumption of alcohol”, he said.

2017 has been a truly ‘black year’ for the town that has never had a ‘good reputation’ when it comes to night-life excesses.

In June, international press focus was on the dismal Portugal Invasion, in which police ended up firing shots in a bid to control rampaging holidaymakers dumbed to the point of lunacy through heavy-drinking (click here).

Disgraceful behaviour pitted the week (click here), and since then there has barely been a weekend without new horrors.

Two weeks ago it was the fight in which a doting father-of-one Paulo di Santo was beaten to a pulp, dying five days later in hospital (click here).

Two days ago it was a confrontation between British and French tourists which saw four people hurt, one losing two fingers in a knife attack and suffering terrible blows to the head.

A woman also is understood to have suffered cuts to her face.

The worst injured man was discovered unconscious in a pool of blood by authorities, and “had to be stabilised” before being rushed for surgery to Faro Hospital.

The incident saw the GNR call in firefighters to “collect one of the severed fingers which was left on the ground”, writes CM.

As to the causes of this latest altercation - like so many of the fights preceding it - they appear to be unknown’. Police are investigating.

But whatever reason becomes apparent, too many of these incidents are leaving people with consequences that extend well beyond the rosy glow of a holiday in the sunshine - not to mention tainting Albufeira with the reputation of a rapidly-accelerating no-go area.

Says CM, this latest “severed fingers” incident in the early hours of Sunday morning between Areias de São João and Montechoro - was attended only by INEM and the Cruz Vermelha (Red Cross), as “firefighters had all their medical teams involved in other incidents” elsewhere.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com

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