World Cup security scheme is launched
Updated: 2014-05-05 05:07
(China Daily Latin America / Xinhua)
The Rio de Janeiro state government said on May 2 it has moved up the implementation of a special security scheme that was originally set to take effect at the beginning of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in June.
The security scheme will now go into effect on Monday, deploying an extra 2,000 military police officers on the streets well over a month before the month-long sporting event.
Shirts and flags of the Brazilian national football team are displayed for sale on a street in Brasilia on May 3.[Photo/Agencies]
Under the special scheme, policemen’s shifts are modified, officers on off-days may be called to work, and vacations will be suspended until the end of the Cup.
"Patrolling will be more visible, to try to curb the incidence of crime, which has been on the rise since the second half of 2013," said Public Security Secretary Jose Mariano Beltrame.
He warned those trying to sabotage Rio’s "pacification process", a government push to clear city slums, or favelas, of criminal elements, will be "taken off the streets".
The measure was announced just hours after a study was released showing that crime rates in Rio jumped significantly in the first quarter of 2014 compared with the same period in 2013: murders are up 23.9 percent, muggings, 46.6 percent, and car theft, 31.3 percent.
In addition, recent months have seen a series of incidents involving Pacifying Police Units (UPPs) located in some of Rio’s slums. But several such police stations were attacked this year and some officers stationed at the units were reportedly involved in the deaths of slum residents, prompting many protests.
"We will have more policemen in the streets and I have talked to Mayor Eduardo Paes about reinforcing municipal guards in downtown streets," said Rio state governor Luiz Fernando Pezao.
"This is a fight in which we need to be persistent. We know it is, in fact, a war," he added.