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Feelings of safety

40% of the population believe there are medium or high chances of their being robbed on the street

Section: Social Statistics | Carmen Nery | Design: Brisa Gil

December 07, 2022 10h00 AM | Last Updated: December 22, 2022 01h30 PM

  • Highlights

  • In 2021, 89.5% of the persons felt safe in their housing units; 72.1%, in the neighborhood, and 54.6% in the city where they lived. The level of security of residents in rural areas surpassed that of urban areas.
  • The highest level of security was felt in the South Region; in the Northeast, the lowest.
  • Among the institutions surveyed, the most trustworthy one for interviewees was the fire corps (87.1%). Justice was the least trusted one (50.2%).
  • The proportion of women who said there were medium or high chances of being the victim of sexual violence (20.2%) was higher than that of men (5.7%). Among men, the highlights were chances of being the victim of police brutality (13.5%) of of being mistaken for a criminal (13.4%).
  • As a security strategy to reduce victimization, 56.7% of the persons aged 15 and over avoided getting home or leaving home very late; 53.2% avoided using ATMs at night; 51.2% avoided using cell phones in public places.
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More than 50% of the persons avoid getting home late, using ATMs at night or their cell phone in public - Photo: Adenir Britto/CMSJC

In 2021, the percentage of persons who felt safe in their housing unit (89.5%) was bigger that that of those who felt safe in their neighborhood (72.1%). This proportion is even smaller in relation to the feelings of safety in the city where they lived (54.6%). Data como from the Continuous National Household Survey (Continuous PNAD) - Feelings of Safety 2021, which, in partnership with the Ministry of Justice and Public Security, investigated, for the first time, the topic of feelings of safety of residents aged 15 and over, in order to analyze their opinions on their own perception of (un)safety. Information was released today (07) by the IBGE.

Men felt safer than women. Besides, the level of safety of persons who lived in rural areas exceeded that of urban areas. In the neighborhood and in the city, the difference amounted to almost 14.0 percentage points (p.p.) between the rural and the urban area.

Policing, leisure areas, paving and street lighting, ranked as excellent or good, increased the feelings of safety

In 2021, existence of public services considered excellent or good was associated with higher feelings of safety than estimated in the case of housing units surrounded by services ranked as regular, bad or terrible. Policing recorded the biggest difference (about 20 p.p.) in the proportion of safe persons, whereas the smallest, yet significant, difference, was the service of garbage collection (10.4 p.p.).

Feelings safety are mostly affected by crimes of extortion and charge of illegal fares

Less than half of the population felt safe in areas marked by extortion (45.0%), persons carrying guns (46.1%), robberies (47,5%) crossfires (49.4%).

In places marked by murder and police brutality, percentages were a little higher, 50.5% and 50.3%, respectively. Persons using illegal drugs affect less (59.6%) than the existence of sale of those drugs (56.4%).

Among the institutions surveyed, fire corps were on top of the trust ranking

The survey also analyzed the level of trust of residents in institutions: civil police, military police, municipal guard, fire corps, justice and armed corps. The highest percentage of trust was that of fire corps (87.1%). Civil and military police corps recorded similar trust levels, 66.9% and 66.3%, respectively, and were a little above that of the muncipal guard (60,6%). Justice had the lowest rate of trust (50.2%).

40% of the population stated there were medium or high chances of being robbed on the street

In 2021, among persons aged 15 and over, 40.0% said there were medium or high chances of their being robbed on the street. Then came chances of being robbed in public transportation (38.1%) and of having their car, motorcycle or bicycle stolen (37.2%). Number four in the ranking was the chance of having their home robbed or being the victim of home theft (29.5%).

The other proportions are: persons with high or medium chances of being the victim of assault (18.1%); being in the middle of a crossfire (16.4%), being hit by a stray bullet (16.4%); having personal information disclosed on the Internet (14.2%); being the victim of sexual assault (13.2%), being murdered (13.0%); being kidnapped (11.7%) and being the victim of police brutality (10.9%) or being mistaken for a criminal by the police (10.0%).

One out of every five women mentioned medium or high chances of being the victim of sexual assault

The proportion of women who mentioned medium or high chances of being the victim of sexual assault (20.2%) was higher than that of men (5.7%). Among men, the highlight was chances of being the victim of police brutality (13.5%) or mistaken for a criminal (13.4%).

Considering all the activities avoided for security reasons listed by Continuous PNAD, the proportions of women who avoided them were always higher that those of men, mainly getting home or leaving home early (63.6%), going to ATMs at night (57.2%) and using their cell phone in public (57.6%).

In 10 of the 13 types of violence investigated, the proportion of black or brown persons who reported medium or high risk of being a victim was higher than that of white persons. The risk of being mistaken for a criminal by the police, of being hit by a stray bullet and of being the victim of police brutality stand out. The most commonly mentioned risk among white persons was that of having personal information disclosed on the Internet, being kidnapped or having a car, motorcycle or bicycle stolen.

For the 13 types of violence investigated by Continuos PNAD, 40.0% of the persons mentioned medium or high chances of being robbed on the street; 38.1% of being robbed in public transportation; and 37.2% of having their car, motorcycle or bicycle stolen. Having a home theft or robbery was in the fourth position (29.5%).

The other proportions remain: medium or higher chances of being the victim of physical assault (18.1%); being in the middle of a crossfire (16.4%) or being hit by a stray bullet (16.4%); having personal information disclosed on the Internet (14.2%); being the victim of sexual assault or being murdered (13.2% and 13.0%, respectively); being kidnapped (11.7%) and being the victim of police brutality (10.9%) or being mistaken for a criminal by the police (10.0%).

More than 50% of the persons avoid getting home late, using ATMs at night and using cell phones in public

In 2021, 56.7% of the persons aged 15 and over avoided getting home or leaving home late; 53.2% avoided using ATMs at night; 51.2% avoided using cell phones in public places; 49.9% avoided places with few people; 49.2% avoided taking to strangers; and 42.8% avoided wearing a watch, jewelry or any valuable object. To a lower extent, 24.3% of the persons avoided leisure activities they used to do; 23.8% avoided using public transportation; and 15.0% avoided using social media or the Internet for security reasons.

“Women recorded a higher percentage of avoidance for security reasons in all the activities, mainly getting home or leaving home late (63.6%), going to ATMs at night (57.2%) and using a cell phone in public places (57.6%).”

“The higher the level of schooling, the bigger the change of habits for security reasons, which can be a result of the differences between the income of persons with higher and lower levels of schooling.”

The survey also showed that the proportion of persons who avoided the activities listed was higher in case of victimization by theft, and, even higher, in the case of robbery. “The biggest difference in the proportion of persons who avoided activities for security reasons among victims and non-victims was observed in the cases of robbery, considering there is at least one threat or violent episode, whereas, in the case of theft, the person may not even realiza that,” the analyst of the survey explains.



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