By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The Institute of Public Security (ISP) on Thursday, January 18th, announced that cases of violent death (sum of homicide, robbery, lethal assault and homicide resulting from police action) in Rio de Janeiro increased by 7.5 percent in 2017, compared to 2016, going from 6,262 to 6,731.
Another crime statistic that also increases for the state of Rio during 2017 was vehicle theft, which was up 30.4 percent. Last year, 54,367 vehicles were stolen, up dome from 41,696 a year earlier. Cargo theft increased by 7.3 percent, from 9,874 cases in 2016 to 10,599 in 2017.
These numbers have increased despite the federal governments implementation of the National Security Plan in Rio de Janeiro, and deployment of 8,500 members of the Armed Forces, 620 members of the National Security Force and 1,120 of the Federal Highway Police, in an effort to improve security.
Julia Michaels, an American expatriate, author and the journalist behind Rio Real Blog lives in Rio and shared her thoughts on the increase in violent deaths. “I’m not surprised, no. The Army has been helping out in strategic, tactical form, not to beef up the dwindling police ranks and overall policing.”
“Today for example, they participated in an operation in Jacarezinho, together with Civil and Military Police. On the one hand, this might be a good idea as numbers show that crimes happen in a very small part of the metropolis, and this is one of the most dangerous areas.”
“On the other, it’s a follow-on that is part of a warlike pattern that doesn’t get to the complex heart of the problem. The Civil Police rushed into Jacarezinho last Friday in retribution for the murder of one of their men,” explains Michaels.
Other ISP data shows that robberies on the street (sum of theft to passerby, robbery of the cellular device and other robbery) had fallen of 1.1 percent last year. There were 127,098 cases in 2016 and 125,698 cases last year.
The survey also found that in 2017, 499 rifles were seized in the state, the highest number recorded in the entire historical series of the Institute of Public Security, which began in 2007. There were 130 more rifles seized than there were in 2016.