Gonçalo Amaral has coordinated the book ‘Justice and Delinquency’, which compiles opinions and proposals for solutions from judges, prosecutors, lawyers, a criminal investigation coordinator, a journalist, a university professor and a psychologist.
In the book, he sustains that policemen must act in a “pro-active” manner, performing a “previous study of criminal means and of the usual crime agents”, among others, reuniting all “necessary” elements for the “capture of its author”.
Rui Rangel, a senior judge and the president of ‘Associação de Juízes pela Cidadania’ [‘Judges for Citizenship Association’], participated in the project, in which he expresses that violence has “undermined all of the social fabric” and defends measures like the “increase of video surveillance”, “intense and frequent ‘searches’ at the entrance of entertainment areas” and a “revision of the Penal Code with an increase of sentences”.
Concerning applicable sentences, judge Maria dos Santos Ribeiro underlines that the convicts do not wish for a substitution of sentences for community work, favouring “the discreet sacrifice of their freedom over the public ostentation of their financial incapacity to pay the fine”.
Prosecutor Maria Clara Oliveira, on the other hand, believes that present society “favours solitary living”, to which the “chaos of the table of values”, the “inefficacity in the fight against excesses”, the economical crisis and the “reappearance of dictatorial regimes” are added.
Marta Daniela Seixas, a joint prosecutor, also criticises the “intense” family and social values’ crisis in Portugal, recalling that school abandonment contributes to the “increase of juvenile criminality”.
On the contrary, psychologist and teacher Paulo Sargento dos Santos considers that the relationship between crisis and crime is “political demagogy” and suggests an intervention at the level of “unstructured urban ecologies”, in order to avoid an “excessive concentration of citizens with poor economical and social resources on the borders of big cities”.
Journalist and criminal psychologist Hernâni Carvalho defends that the problem does not originate in social neighbourhoods, recalling that “everyone was pushed into them over time” and all of them were “sponsored by the State”.
Lawyer Rui da Silva Leal admits that there “are measures to be taken” at the sociological, school and educational level, but before that, action within Justice has to be taken – the “full execution of applied sentences” should be imposed – in order to return the feeling of security to populations.
Professor Manuel Augusto Meireis shares his thoughts about stereotypes that are created by society and stresses that formal and informal control instances “have been contributing decisively to the bad image of penal Justice”.
Francisco Almeida Garrett, a lawyer, alleges that the increase of criminality in Portugal “is not conjunctural” but rather “structural” and that the system is preoccupied “almost exclusively with the defence of prevaricators”.
The lawyer even foresees that “in a few years the magistrates themselves will be beaten and killed over motives that are related to the exercise of their functions”.
The presentation of the book ‘Justice and Delinquency’ is scheduled for the 25th of June, 18h at Alêtheia bookshop, in Lisbon [Bairro Alto].
Publishers Fronteira do Caos
Gonçalo Amaral, who has meanwhile retired from the PJ, initially coordinated the investigation into the disappearance of little English girl Madeleine McCann, in May 2007, in Praia da Luz, Lagos, Algarve.
In the book that he published under the title ‘Maddie – The Truth about the Lie’, Gonçalo Amaral considers that “the child died in the apartment on that day”.
Meanwhile, Gonçalo Amaral was condemned in May by the Court of Faro to one year and six months in prison over false testimony, with a suspended sentence for the same period, in the trial of alleged aggressions against Leonor Cipriano, the mother of little girl Joana Cipriano.
The process of alleged aggressions against Leonor Cipriano by PJ inspectors is related to the so-called ‘Joana case’, which dates back to September 2004, when the child disappeared from the village of Figueira, Portimão, in the Algarve.
source: Lusa/Sol, 17.06.2009
‘Justice and Delinquency’ Extracts
Gonçalo Amaral - Former Judiciary Police Inspector
“The fight against violent and organized crime is done in a casual manner. It is not prevented. It is not detected. It is expected that the nefarious crimes happen. And only then we’ll see. It is not enough to react to the crimes, they need to be prevented and their detection must occur. With this style of action maybe the fight would be more effective against certain types of illegalities and maybe mega-processes would stop being initiated, which are, as a rule, useless in terms of outcome, like those resulting from the investigations to the economical and financial criminality”.
Rui Rangel - Appellate Judge
“The violence that is associated with the phenomena of criminality was set in various forms or degrees and eroded the entire social fabric, all the urban and rural areas. It is not just a phenomenon that affects certain social fringes, certain population groups or the so called problematic neighbourhoods. It affects the whole society. We must reverse the dynamics of the criminals that, little by little, are conquering more and more land.”
Hêrnani Carvalho - Journalist
“More than the dangerous risk, to be a policeman in Portugal today is a strange profession. If detaining a criminal is not an easy task to accomplish, to fill in the documents relating to his arrest is almost a Cyclopean undertaking. Even more if the identity of the individual and his address can not be confirmed, or, if the detainee is a foreigner, just to verify if he is indeed legal, this is another extremely difficult task. The idea that this service could be done by civilians, freeing the police to the functions of public safety to which they were in fact trained, is old, but never got beyond the paper.”