Ahead of World Cup, Rio boosts police presence following crime surge
Monday, May 05, 2014 - 01:59
May 5 - Rio de Janeiro boosts police presence on the streets by 2,000 in the wake of recent violence and pressure to keep peace during approaching World Cup. Nathan Frandino reports.
▲ Hide Transcript
▶ View Transcript
As the World Cup approaches, officials in Rio de Janeiro are beefing up security.
An additional 2,000 police officers hit the city's streets on Monday following a recent surge in violence.
Brazil is expected see 600,000 tourists for the World Cup and some 400,000 in Rio alone.
City officials say the boost in police officers came in response to recent attacks on police units operating in the slums known as 'favelas.'
Just last week, violence erupted near the Royal Tulip luxury hotel where England's soccer team will reside during the tournament.
A local gang clashed with police. One man was shot and killed.
It's that same violence that some residents hope to avoid.
(SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) RETIRED RESIDENT OF COPACABANA, WALTER FIGUEIREDO, SAYING:
"I don't leave the house at night so I can't speak to that. In my situation, I stay here until eleven or eleven thirty and I don't leave the beach. I'm afraid to go to the theater at night or go see a movie. It's not easy. You can't be walking, carrying anything like a watch or bracelet, it will only make it worse. It's incredible. Because of this I really can't say what it will be like and what will happen during the World Cup."
Recently released crime stats show reason for concern.
Last year there were over 37,000 street muggings in all of Rio de Janeiro.
In Copacabana though, one resident said he felt the police presence was squeezing out the crime.
(SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) RETIRED LOCAL RESIDENT, ANTONIO MARQUES, SAYING:
"Here in Copacabana things are pretty calm because there is a lot of police on the street. There is a lot police on the street. Criminals aren't looking to do something somewhere where there is a lot of police on the street; they are looking for places where you have practically no one."
Brazil will have nearly 7,000 military police deployed in Rio during the World Cup.
Press CTRL+C (Windows), CMD+C (Mac), or long-press the URL below on your mobile device to copy the code