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Homicide reduction efforts pay off in Rio de Janeiro 

In November, the state of Rio de Janeiro saw an 18 per cent drop in the number of premeditated murders compared to the same period the previous year. This is the lowest in three years, according to data released by the Public Security Institute (ISP), the agency in charge of official statistics on violence.


Widespread measures have helped to bring down homicide rates in Rio de Janeiro (image: Celsopupo/123rf)

Colonel Messeder of the Federal Intervention Bureau (FIB) told the Crisis Response Journal: “One of the public security goals established by the FIB in the state of Rio de Janeiro was the gradual reduction of crime rates. This goal was fully achieved through the adoption of a series of measures.”

These measures included: Planning based on criminal hotspots; integrated intelligence action; the strengthening of internal affairs; the training and re-equipping of security agents; the implementation of a meritocracy for promotion nominations; and the elevation of public security organs to state institutions.

The survey also shows a 19 per cent reduction in September, October and November, compared to the same period in 2017 and a one per cent reduction compared to the previous three months of 2018 (June, July and August).

The reduced number of premeditated murders helped to reduce another indicator – in the second-to-last month of the year, the ISP highlights that the indicator of ‘violent lethality’ (premeditated murder, robbery with violence resulting in death, third-degree murder and killing by a state agent) also dropped by 13 per cent compared to the same period last year, with 521 victims. In the last three months, it dropped 14 per cent compared to the same period of 2017 and seven per cent compared to the previous three months of 2018.

Referring to crimes against life, the ISP points out that robberies with violence resulting in death also dropped by 37.5 per cent in November 2018 compared to the previous November. Killings by a state agent increased compared to November last year by seven per cent, but comparing September to November with the previous three months of 2018, it dropped by 20 per cent.

Cargo thefts dropped by 23 per cent and vehicle thefts dropped by three per cent compared to November 2017. 

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