Emergency
The emergency telephone number is 911. This will connect to a central switchboard from which police, ambulance and fire brigade are available.

Police
There are several types of police in Portugal. It is important to get the right one for what you need.
Towns have blue uniformed police who are members of the PSP (Policia Seguranca Publica)

Outside the town the police wear green uniforms and are members of the GNR (Guardia Nacional Republica)

Traffic police are members of the GNR special group called Brigada de Transito.

Customs Police are also part of the GNR although effectively a seperate organisation called Brigada Fiscal.

The beaches are patrolled by members of the navy organised under the Capitano de Porto. They wear white and blue uniforms that look like the navy.

Customs checks are made by the Alfandega, They wear plain clothes and are often accompanied by Brigada Fiscal in uniform.

There is also an investigative police like the CID who are called Policia Judiciaria.

Unfortunately if you have any dealings with the police you have to get the right organisation at the right place. So if your hire car is broken into in Lagos town you will need a police report for the insurance company from PSP Lagos. If your hire car is parked across at Meia Praia at the time you will need GNR Lagos.

If you are unfortunate to be the victim of crime, telling the police, even the right ones, will not necessarily get anything done. Portugal is a bureauocratic society, it lives on paperwork. Ask to make a queixa escrite (written complaint) and the legal process will swing into action.

The police will identify the criminal and submit the case to the state prosecutor (ministerio publico). If the prosecutor can find a case to answer under the law he brings charges in the court.If you are making a report of loss or theft for an insurance claim ask for a police report.

Ambulance & Hospital
The Portuguese ambulance and hospital service are for the treatment of emergencies. Please do not abuse the service.

The ambulance is operated by the Bombeiros (Fire brigade). It will attend car accidents, heart attacks etc. Otherwise you are expected to make your own way to hospital if possible. At the hospital you will be asked for your passport, & E111 (arrange in UK) or travel insurance.