HomeNewsBrief3 Simple Ideas for LatAm Mayors to Fight Insecurity
BRIEF

3 Simple Ideas for LatAm Mayors to Fight Insecurity

HOMICIDES / 12 JAN 2016 BY PABLO BACHELET EN

Frequently, I meet mayors who tell me, "I'm really concerned about rising crime in my district, but I can't do anything because the police is run by the national (or state) government." Here's three questions (and answers) that I usually ask them, if I think they're trying to pull a "Pontius Pilate" and wash their hands of the responsibility. 

1) What security policy is most recognized by the public in Mexico? 

The answer comes from the 2010 National Victimization Survey. In first place is improvement of public lighting (40 percent of respondents). In second place is more patrols on the street (37 percent). And third is maintenace of parks and public spaces (34 percent). That is, public lighting and well-kept parks are as or more important than armed police or military officers equipped with high-tech gear. Mexican neighborhoods also put great value on controlling alcohol consumption on the street: according to that same survey, this is the principle cause of fear of crime in the population.

This article originally appeared on the blog Sin Miedos, managed by the Inter-American Development Bank, and was translated, edited, and reprinted with permission. See Spanish original here

2) How did the city of Barrancabermeja in Colombia reduce reported incidents of domestic violence by 36 percent between April 2009 to March 2010 (that is, a drop from 1,127 cases to 717)?

Answer: by creating a telephone line called Celos Anónimos (Anonymous Envy). A conversation between a potential abuser with a trained psychologist can help save women's lives. 

3) In terms of insecurity, what difference is there in Washington DC, between blocks with 10 or more bars and night spots, versus those with less than 10?

The police data is revelatory: on average, four times as many crimes are committed on the blocks with 10 or more of these locales, versus those with less than 10. A major way to fight insecurity -- especially in expanding cities -- is intelligent regulation of urban areas, one that considers the measures and additional costs associated with crime prevention when creating new commerical or entertainment spaces. 

In conclusion: there is plenty that mayors can do to help their citizenry feel safer, with or without police under their charge. For these mayors, "washing their hands" of security problems is only acceptable if it's the step before putting those hands to work. 

This article originally appeared on the blog Sin Miedos, managed by the Inter-American Development Bank, and was translated, edited, and reprinted with permission. See Spanish original here.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

ELITES AND CRIME / 3 JUN 2021

Running for office in Mexico means risking one's life. Just one week ahead of local elections on June 6, at…

EL KOKI / 13 JUL 2021

Venezuelan forces have fought running gun battles in the streets of Caracas in recent days with members of the capital’s…

ELITES AND CRIME / 12 FEB 2021

US authorities at both the federal and state level provided training to members of a Mexican special operations unit with…

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…