Colombia’s chief of police declared a state of red alert over security in the country’s major cities, and announced plans to combat high rates of crime and homicide in these areas, El Espectador reported on Thursday.
General Oscar Naranjo demanded increased numbers of police and efficiency from police units, and appealed for the co-operation of citizens in reporting crimes.
According to Naranjo, 9,600 extra police officers will join those currently on patrol and surveillance duties in the country’s most violent cities.
The police chief’s statements follow the news that Colombian cities Medellin and Cali were ranked by a Mexican study as being among the top ten most violent in the world.
General Naranjo stated that although this year has seen an overall reduction in homicide rates throughout the country, estimated to be 2% lower than 2009, the decrease is not sufficient.
The general also announced that he will be making regular visits to the department capitals to consult on developing security and fighting organized crime in the cities.