Officials cheer survey that shows lower sense of insecurity

Ministerio de Gobernación. Policía y Seguridad Pública photo
Security officials inaugurated this building Tuesday. It
houses the police preventative programs for an estimated
2,000 communities and other outreach programs.

Security officials and the Chinchilla administration are taking credit for the results of a new survey that said insecurity was no longer the No. 1 concern of Costa Ricans.

That concern fell to third place behind government corruption and the economy. according to a report in the daily La Republica Monday.

The Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública quickly produced a press release reporting some of the CID Gallup results. It said that now only 55 percent of Costa Ricans believe that crime is increasing instead of the 77 percent of those questioned in 2010.

Decreasing insecurity has been a cornerstone of the Laura Chinchilla campaign and administration.

The survey also said that just two of every 10 households reported that someone there had been the victim of a crime during the last four months of 2012. In 2010 the figure was three out of every 10 homes. The incident of crime appears to be increasing in higher income homes, said the report. CID Gallup surveyed 1,282 homes all over the country. The survey was done from Jan. 15 to 23. The security ministry attributed the decrease in feelings of insecurity to various sweeps, roadblocks and coordinated work with other organizations and the community.

The Chinchilla administration has put many more police officers on the street than during previous administrations. There also have been donations of vehicles from the People’s Republic of China and a new tax on corporations that goes to police officials. Although corruption also is a crime, the impact on the population is more long-term and was treated separately in the survey.

A.M. Costa Rica has been seeing an increase in crimes involving tourists. A woman tourist in Atenas reported that a cat burglar with a knife entered her rented cottage over the weekend. Some tourists also were victims of theft on the Caribbean coast.

However, tourists, who are major targets for some thieves, would be overlooked by a telephone survey.

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