Colombia’s cities are safer than citizens thinks, according to a government survey
Statistics agency DANE released statistics of the 2012 Citizen’s Security Survey, reflecting surprising figures related to actual citizen victimization in 25 Colombian cities.
Newspaper El Espectador reported that based on the survey “the perception of safety that exists does not correspond to the actual victimization.” According to the survey, people are assuming victimization of crime, such as theft and armed robbery, two to three times higher than what is actually occurring.
Despite the exaggerated perception of victimization of crime, the survey still shows that at least a fifth of the people surveyed have personally been victim to at least one crime in the previous year.
El Espectador claimed that these Colombian statistics are comparable to 33 average cities worldwide and lower than several developing countries’ capitals such as Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Johannesburg, South Africa, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Colombia’s southwestern city of Pasto revealed the highest crime in the survey, with 33% of its residence being a victim of crime in the previous year. The Atlantic Coast and northeastern cities revealed much lower crime rates than the rest of the country. Colombia’s capital of Bogota had an average victimization rate of 25.2% of its population experiencing some kind of crime.
The most common crime for citizens to experience according to the survey was residential theft, a statistic on average higher than the international average.
Cell phone reflected a huge problem, with 70% of thefts involving the loss of a cell phone, with cash, cards and other documentation following with jewelery and clothing ranking last for stolen possessions.
The street was revealed to be the most vulnerable place for direct thefts to occur, with public transportation in second. ATMs located on streets as well as market places were referenced as high likely places to be subject to theft.
The DANE survey has been done for over 15 years of 20,681 people in Colombia. The victimization of crime categories included victims of residential theft, personal theft, victim of assault, extortion or car theft.