RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- Murder rate in Brazil's Rio de Janeiro state reached a 20-year low in the first half of 2010, the state's security chief announced Wednesday.
In the first six months of this year, 2,566 murders were registered in the state, a drop of 20 percent compared to the first half of 2009. The 2010 figures represent a rate of 15 murders per 100,000 inhabitants, the lowest since 1991, said security chief Jose Mariano Beltrame.
In the month of June, the number of murders registered in Rio de Janeiro state fell 20.9 percent, from 439 to 347.
Beltrame said other crimes declined as well. The number of auto thefts in the state fell from 1,968 cases to 1,701 in June, a drop of 13.5 percent. Mugging fell 18.8 percent, from 7,845 cases to 6,369.
The number of policemen killed on duty in the state was down 65 percent in the first six months of 2010, from 23 to eight.
Beltrame attributed the lower figures to the public security policy implemented in the state a year ago. He said increased investments in the police, the implementation of Peacemaking Police Units in several shanty towns which were controlled by drug dealers, and the rise in the number of arrests led to the decrease in murders.
- 20 arrested as Brazil cracks down on child pornography 2010-07-28
- Brazil raises interest rate to 10.75% 2010-07-22