Public safety is the solution
Insecurity is one of the number one issues facing Brazilians in the upcoming October 2018 elections. And not without good reason: almost 64,000 citizens were killed in 2017. Yet the security debate is plagued by confusion and polarization. In order to shape an objective and evidence-based debate, the Igarapé Institute partnered with the Fórum Brasileiro de Segurança Pública and the Instituto Sou da Paz to launch a document with proposals based on fact, not fiction.
The new initiative – Segurança Pública é Solução (Public Safety is the Solution) – features a series of concrete goals, targets and indicators to to sharpen public debate separated into seven priority areas. The document was distributed to all presidential candidates in July and August 2018. What is more, it was covered extensively in the Brazilian media, including by Jornal Nacional, O Globo, El Pais and others.
The agenda was crafted with inputs from Brazil’s leading public security experts. Ilona Szabó, executive-director of the Igarapé Institute, believes that “smarter” public security must be a priority of incoming federal and state governments. “Public security has been treated as a police question but we know it is much more than this: it is necessary to develop the country, as [violent crime] has huge social and economic costs,” she told Estadão.
The strategy document lays out a range of practical approaches to reducing violent crime. “We need to decriminalize the use of drugs,” according to Ilona Szabo. “In Rio, 50% of all police arrests find less than 10 grams of cannabis. It’s no use believing we will solve the problem this way. More than 30 countries have changed their policies with no concurrent explosion in the level of consumption. Drugs consumption is a public health matter.”Read the latest proposal