Zoë Roller – Rio Times, 04/18/2012
While the UPP (Police Pacification Unit) program in Rio has had many successes in the past few years confronting drug trafficking in the favelas, the surrounding metropolitan region has seen crime rates rise as criminals flee the city. The number of arrests in outlying areas like Niterói, São Gonçalo and Duque de Caxias has increased significantly, bringing residents to protest.
According to a February 2012 Public Security Institute study, home robberies in Niterói have gone up 285.7 percent compared to the past year. Car break-ins are up 71 percent and muggings are up 13.5 percent, according to the report.
This past Sunday (April 15th) Niterói residents staged several demonstrations demanding more security. Protesters gathered on São Francisco beach, singing the national anthem and holding signs with slogans like “Niterói will not be taken hostage by violence!”, “UPP in Niterói now!” and “We want police on the streets!”