National survey says incidence of crime has not changed since 2010

Despite law enforcement claims to the contrary, criminality in Costa Rica is about the same as it was in 2010, according to a national survey.

At least one person in 20 percent of the country’s 1.4 million households was the victim of a crime during the survey period, July 2013 to July 2014, said the  Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos

The statistical institute included the question about crime in its national survey of homes.

The institute said that during that period about 285,000 households reported experiencing crimes, according to the survey.

In 70.1 percent of the homes, only one person was a victim, but in 21 percent of the homes there were two to three cases. In 9 percent or 25,000 homes there were four or more crime victims, said the institute.

The institute also reported that just 29.7 percent of the crimes were reported to authorities.

The institute said that 35.7 percent of the crimes were those of violence. As expected, more crimes and their victims were found in urban areas.

Some 7.5 percent of the crimes involving 106,000 homes were robberies outside the dwelling, while in 5 percent, representing 72,000 cases, the homes themselves were the target.

The survey did not distinguish between burglaries and armed home invasions.

The incidence of crime ranged from 22.6 percent in the central part of the county to just 9 percent in the Chorotega area in Guanacaste, said the survey.

The institute said that the percentage of homes containing victims of crimes was about the same as in a similar survey in 2010.

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