Region, Samara

Editorial – Those Who Want a More Secure Community Must Raise Their Voices

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Although this newspaper does not cover police news on a daily basis, stories about robberies, drug confiscations and even murders are increasing in frequency. In each of these news items, we find that the Public Force authorities appear to not have control of the situation.

Residents of the district of Samara are some of the people most concerned about the current lack of security, so much so that, having seen that local police are unable to efficiently control crime, they demanded a meeting with Jose Andrade, the national director of the Public Force, to discuss  with him the situation that they are experiencing. Nosara also requested a meeting with Andrade in July to ask for more investment in law enforcement infrastructure in the area.

All are asking for the same things: more police, more resources, more attention to their community.

Paradoxically, although concern is increasing among Samara residents, the statistics of the number of official complaints (denuncias) filed with the Judicial Investigation Body (OIJ – Organismo de Investigacion Judicial) reflect the opposite, as according to the data, complaints have decreased during 2014. What is the message that Samara is sending to the Ministry of Security with these numbers? That security is improving. And it is very ironic that, on August 17, a man was shot outside of a bar for trying to prevent his friend from being robbed of her purse.

Here the problem is not in the numbers; the problem is that we do not have a habit of filing complaints when we have been the victims of crime. You can say, “Why bother? They don’t do anything anyway,” but the subject isn’t that simple.

The budget, equipment and personnel that local police are allocated is closely tied to the number of complaints filed in the area. The whole community might know that the town lacks security, but if there isn’t data to back that up, officials have their hands tied and are unable to ask for more reinforcement.

We always like to point fingers, but we rarely realize that we also can make a change so that this kind of situation is corrected.

Filing complaints is very important, as doing so provides records that document the times crimes commonly take place, what kind of crimes are happening most often, which items are stolen the most and the locations that are most frequently the site of crimes, to mention a few of the infinite number of variables that could be used to create efficient strategies to combat insecurity.

Don’t forfeit the small amount of power you have as a citizen; file complaints and don’t let any crime go unheard.