- Polícia Judiciária
The Polícia Judiciária (PJ, English: Judicial Police) is the main police branch of criminal investigation in Portugal, dedicated to fighting criminality, organized crime, terrorism, drugs, corruption and financial crimes. It is integrated into the Ministério da Justiça, under the supervision of the Ministério Público.
The present Polícia Judiciária originates from the Secção de Polícia Judiciária from the old Polícia Cívica. The force was founded on 2 July 1867, during the reign of Luís I of Portugal, under the name Polícia Civil. On 20 October 1945, the Polícia de Investigação Criminal changed its name to Polícia Judiciária.
The PJ is directed by a Director Nacional (National Director), Directores Regionais (Regional Directors) and has several other structures. There are local branches in several Portuguese cities across the country.
The Polícia Judiciária is officially responsible for criminal investigation and evidence collection. In addition to this, almost all homicides in Portuguese territory are handled by the PJ (there is also the unrelated Polícia Judiciária Militar, the criminal investigation military police). The crime fighting work performed by the Polícia Judiciária is regularly shown in the Portuguese media. Major drug trafficking combat operations are often reported in the main Portuguese television networks and other media, as well as the dismantling of organized crime groups linked with terrorism, corruption, fraud, burglary, robbery, forgery and other crimes. In the 2000s, the Polícia Judiciária had a rate of success of 77.43% in finding missing children, including abductions and runaway children. In 2009 alone, PJ had a 100% success rate in finding missing children (193 cases solved out of 193; 53 in the Lisbon Region).. The same happened in 2010.
Law enforcement in Portugal
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