By Ben Tavener, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The number of burglaries and vehicle thefts in Rio de Janeiro has risen dramatically in the first half of 2012, with car thefts up 27.4 percent and residential burglaries witnessing an increase of 21.6 percent for the six-month period.
According to statistics from the Instituto de Segurança Pública (Institute of Public Security, ISP), 11,458 car thefts and 720 residential burglaries were reported between January and June 2012.
A statistically-higher proportion of burglaries has been reported in Rio’s Zona Sul (South Zone).
A number of break-ins have taken place in Leblon, including last Saturday when three properties were burgled, one of which was said to have around R$15,000 (US$7,360) of possession stolen.
No one was hurt in the robbery as the owners of the properties were not at home; the criminals escaped on foot carrying suitcases full of stolen goods. According to police, security in the area has been stepped up.
However, more positive news was released about the number of murders in the state: 2,102 homicides were reported in the first half of 2012, as opposed to 2,252 in the first six months of 2011, which represents a 6.7 percent fall.
In recent years, the number of homicides in Rio has seen a falling trend, and the number of young people murdered decreased by 33 percent between 2000 and 2010.
New policies introduced in the state, including the installation of UPPs (Police Pacification Units) in the poorest and most crime-ridden areas of Rio, are being heralded as the reason behind the reduction in the number of murders.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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