The declines in homicide and theft of goods in the state of Rio de Janeiro in 2020 were not significantly affected by the epidemic. The conclusion is a study released by the Institute for Public Security (ISP) in Rio de Janeiro today (20). According to the survey, the two indicators continued the downward trend recorded since 2018.
In homicides, the decline was 12% and 2020 records were still below expectations, as indicated by an analysis of the last six years of the historical series, which showed researchers that social isolation did not affect the index. “The study concludes, therefore, that it is possible to consider that the policies adopted in the area of public security played an important role in the indicators’ results,” according to the Internet service provider.
According to the institute, the thefts of goods, which fell 33% last year, had slight differences in the months after the declaration of a state of health emergency in Rio. Epidemic, ” he explained, adding that this type of crime began to show a decline in 2018 and maintained a continuous downward rhythm throughout this period.
Another indicator analyzed is vehicle theft, which, according to the comparison model the researchers used, was below expectations in the two months following the start of social isolation measures. As of June 2020, the total number of cases is on schedule. For the scientists, in this case also, “measures of social distancing did not significantly affect the number of car thefts during that period.”
The cases of phone and passenger theft decreased sharply from March onwards, coinciding with the beginning of the isolation period in 2020. The study also indicated that the weekly rate of cases, which reached 1803 cases, decreased to 810 cases. It was possible to determine that the case totals from March to June were significantly lower than expected. Records only began to increase when the level of social disengagement decreased in the state.
Located in other countries
The ISP also stated that the sharp decline in these types of crime was not only noticed in Rio de Janeiro. In the United States, a study by David Abrams in that country’s 25 largest cities showed a more than expected decrease in thefts and found no effect on homicides.
In Canada, a Vancouver survey by Tara Hodgkinson and Martin Andersen made the same observation, repeating itself again in Australia, as found in research by Mic-Taec Kim and Felix Leung, who analyzed New South Wales.
“These surveys, like those conducted by the Internet Service Provider, start from the routine activity theory, which indicates that differences in the number of crimes are explained by the different ways that perpetrators, targets, and surveillance relate. Thus, the explanation for the decrease in theft by bystanders and cell phones is broadly based Determining the change in the routine of people who started visiting the streets less due to social isolation, and the assessment of the Public Security Institute, confirming that, crime of opportunity, the fewer people wandering the streets, the less likely that bandits will take action.
ISP CEO Marcella Ortiz said that the institute is constantly concerned with analyzing statistics in the field of public security in the most faithful way. According to her, right at the start of the isolation measures, the foundation identified changes in some indicators and, based on the results, tried to understand how the epidemic had changed trends.
“The conclusion is that not all crimes have the same behavior in the extraordinary situation we are going through. This action is necessary for public security management, because with a better understanding of these changes, resources can be allocated more effectively.
The Comparative Evaluation Model developed by ISP analysts to draw conclusions looked at the historical chronology of each crime, what direction a particular crime could have from March to October 2020, and what their behavior would be in that year. The study also included two confidence intervals of 80% and 95%, which are used as a margin of safety for changes. Therefore, data from the fact sheets of the State Secretariat of Civil Police from 2014 to 2020 were used.
Also according to the ISP, the state’s level of social isolation assessment used the Google User Sites Registry. Using this information, it was possible to calculate that, for example, in the week following the adoption of the restrictive measures, in March, Rio de Janeiro experienced 70% fewer visits to places of entertainment and leisure compared to the average reference period (3 December). 1) January to February 6, 2020. ‘
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