is fear of crime worse than crime itself?

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Orbital81
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is fear of crime worse than crime itself?

Postby Orbital81 » Fri Jan 17, 2014 7:35 pm

I'm just picking up from some comments left by Chi Chi (this certainly isn't a criticism of you, I find your posts knowledgeable and interesting) about safety in Lima. Chi Chi urges caution, which is always best, but I was wondering just how bad other people think it is and whether that is reflected in their own experiences.

In 6 months I've never had cause to question my safety, despite living in San Martin De Porres, until yesterday when I was walking home when a guy looked at me funny, seemed to think better of it (I'm 5ft 10in female in my 30's whose studied Thai boxing), then mugged the young couple behind me. Despite this experience I still don't feel things are all that bad. I had my car broken into three times and a motorbike stolen in Bath, England, and a friend had her whole handbag stolen in London so comparably Lima is doing quite well. How do other people feel?


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Re: is fear of crime worse than crime itself?

Postby chi chi » Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:32 pm

You can get robbed anytime and anywhere in Lima. Some people get robbed just after arriving at the airport and some people have been here for years and never encountered any problems.

Criminals are always looking for an easy target. The guy who looked funny at you might have noticed that you are confident and on your guard so he backed off and choose an easier prey who wasn't on it's guard.. The couple probably was talking to each other and didn't give attention to that guy so he could surprise them.

Also a gringa walking in an área like San Martin de Porres isn't the average tourist who's there to go sightseeing. Gringos who venture in the ''hood'' go there for a reason and are aware about how the área is.

Looking like you are lost in the área or not keeping a good watch on your belongings attracts unwanted attention.

(I also lived in Londen and I can confirm that London isn't a safe place if you venture out of the nicer boroughs. I had my car broken into as well in London.)
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Re: is fear of crime worse than crime itself?

Postby BradClark » Sat Jan 18, 2014 3:38 am

It's similar to this in other developing countries. The lost looking tourist and people not paying attention are easy targets. The ones that look like they have a purpose and know what they are doing are generaly left alone.
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Re: is fear of crime worse than crime itself?

Postby teamoperu » Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:52 am

In answer to your question, yes. Some people do seem to express an inordinate fear of being robbed in Lima. Can't be a very pleasant way to experience the good life. Better to have eyes wide open and then have fun fun fun.
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Re: is fear of crime worse than crime itself?

Postby chi chi » Sat Jan 18, 2014 1:10 pm

BradClark wrote:It's similar to this in other developing countries. The lost looking tourist and people not paying attention are easy targets. The ones that look like they have a purpose and know what they are doing are generaly left alone.


That doesn't only happen in developing countries. In Europe, pickpockets, fake pólice officers, scammers hang out in tourist áreas trying to rob or scam tourists.
In Brussels, there have been reports of criminals acting as plain clothes pólice officers targeting asian tourists by asking to check their money after they left an exchange office or ATM. They were looking for fake banknotes. For sure, they found ''fake notes''.

Gypsies are hanging out in many tourist areas in Europe trying to pickpocket tourists.

Tourist areas attract thieves. That's why I am more on my guard in Miraflores and the city center of Lima than in any other district.
Cuzco and Puno are also notorious when it comes to pickpockets.

Many times, people get their bag stolen when they are eating a restaurant because they put the bag behind them or under their chair.

Many times, the thieves work in pairs. One thief distracts the victim by asking something and the other one steals the bag, camera or other ítems.

Don't walk around drunk on the street. You will become an easy target. Neither accept drinks or sigarettes from strangers as they might be spiked. Often tourists get robbed after their drink got spiked.

Personnaly, I consider Peru as a fairly safe country. There are countries in the world that are far worser than Peru. I never had any major problems in Peru and I have been to many so called 'bad' areas.
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Re: is fear of crime worse than crime itself?

Postby gringito » Sun Jan 19, 2014 10:48 pm

No, the fear is not worse…but, as already mentioned by Chi Chi et al, may make you vulnerable for crime, in particular robbery and assault by marking you as easy prey.

Crime rates in Lima are increasing. Ask Peruvians, and everybody knows at least one person or family member who got mugged or even got mugged itself.
It has to be noted that crimes in particular in Lima became more violent, i.e. more and more firearms are used and victims get shot for only some soles, sometimes even if they do not resist.
Furthermore, during the last month, home invasions appear to increase. This is my personal impression reading Peruvian newspapers.

Thugs in Peru not only work in pairs but also in a pack of more than two people.
These types of assaults are called “atracos” or “cogoteos”.
Go to youtube, search for “atracaderos Lima” or cogoteros Lima” or "pandilleros Lima" and you will see how it happens.

Personally, I made no bad experience here in Lima for about 20 years. Then I got assaulted in the park 100 meters away from my house in a fenced urbanizacion while the vigilantes were only 50 meters away. Some month later 3 guys tried to assault me in Miraflores while I walked to the flat of a friend during night time. Though the thugs did not succeed in these two cases the experience was sobering and taught me that you cannot feel safe even near your home or at home.

Suerte, don’t become paranoid but be vigilant and be prepared.
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Re: is fear of crime worse than crime itself?

Postby Sergio Bernales » Mon Jan 20, 2014 11:26 pm

Interestingly, in Western countries on the whole crime has been falling, but fear of it has been rising. What's even stranger is that the same people when asked about rising crime in their own districts say that things have improved.

However, the situation in Latin America is that crime is rising in many countries, so perception of rising crime is generally matched by reality. The most dangerous is Venezuala, whose murder rate is equal to the US and Europe Union's combined despite having a tiny population. Each country appears to have different reasons, but in Mexico, for example, there is the well documented influence of the drugs trade, gang warfare over turf and the large quantities of arms being smuggled over the border from the United States.

http://www.economist.com/news/americas/ ... -iron-fist

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... soars.html

http://www.gallup.com/poll/150464/ameri ... ening.aspx
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Re: is fear of crime worse than crime itself?

Postby Alan » Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:59 am

I heard an economist argue once that much violent crime is driven by demographics. This is because the prime candidates to carry out violent crimes are young men. As they age, they either mellow, go to jail, or die a premature - and possibly a violent - death. In Peru our average age is 24 years old, so we have a lot of young men running around, hence, a higher than average crime rate. Seems like a logical argument...
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Re: is fear of crime worse than crime itself?

Postby Sergio Bernales » Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:30 am

Alan wrote:I heard an economist argue once that much violent crime is driven by demographics. This is because the prime candidates to carry out violent crimes are young men. As they age, they either mellow, go to jail, or die a premature - and possibly a violent - death. In Peru our average age is 24 years old, so we have a lot of young men running around, hence, a higher than average crime rate. Seems like a logical argument...


I've heard that one, too. It's a good solid argument. But then I saw another study which made me laugh and probably has some truth to it. Who knows? It said the cause of falling crime might also be the prevalace of video games. Young men, the demographic who are most likely to commit crime, are now spending more time at home playing violent games rather than being involved in the real thing.
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Re: is fear of crime worse than crime itself?

Postby Alan » Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:10 pm

Sergio Bernales wrote:
Alan wrote:I heard an economist argue once that much violent crime is driven by demographics. This is because the prime candidates to carry out violent crimes are young men. As they age, they either mellow, go to jail, or die a premature - and possibly a violent - death. In Peru our average age is 24 years old, so we have a lot of young men running around, hence, a higher than average crime rate. Seems like a logical argument...


I've heard that one, too. It's a good solid argument. But then I saw another study which made me laugh and probably has some truth to it. Who knows? It said the cause of falling crime might also be the prevalace of video games. Young men, the demographic who are most likely to commit crime, are now spending more time at home playing violent games rather than being involved in the real thing.


Huh.. who wudda thought. Sort of flips the "violent games causes violence" argument on its head.

I think it was in the book Freakanomics where the author made the argument that violent crime decreased 18 years after abortion had been legalized, the argument being that single, poor women were more likely to abort, and that without the abortion, their offspring would be more likely than other boys from "solid" homes to commit crimes. A polemic argument for sure, on all kinds of levels.
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Re: is fear of crime worse than crime itself?

Postby tomsax » Tue Jan 21, 2014 1:08 pm

Alan I'd be interested to here how you think crime rates have changed in Peru over the time you've been there (20 years +?) and also others peopes views who have been there for a long time

My impression and it is only an impression is that crime has fallen since the 1980s. I got robbed or people attempted to rob me at least 6 times in Peru when I was first there for a year and a half in the late 80s. And I heard stories of robbery all that time. In the naughties I was there for six years and only suffered one minor robbery. Granted I probably took more risks travelling in more dangerous areas when I was younger but I don't think it was just that. Now I read this forum and am struck by how many people say crime is no worse there than in say the US or Europe. People didn't used to say that very often.

And in all the times I've lived or gone back to Peru, Peruvians have always said it was getting worse rather than better!

So I would say there has always been a fear of crime in Peru, but now it is probably less justified even if it is prudent in many cases.
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Re: is fear of crime worse than crime itself?

Postby fanning » Tue Jan 21, 2014 1:13 pm

Look at this, it is of last week
Image
It says that 89% of the population feels insecure walking the streets
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Re: is fear of crime worse than crime itself?

Postby Alan » Tue Jan 21, 2014 1:54 pm

tomsax wrote:Alan I'd be interested to here how you think crime rates have changed in Peru over the time you've been there (20 years +?) and also others peopes views who have been there for a long time

My impression and it is only an impression is that crime has fallen since the 1980s. I got robbed or people attempted to rob me at least 6 times in Peru when I was first there for a year and a half in the late 80s. And I heard stories of robbery all that time. In the naughties I was there for six years and only suffered one minor robbery. Granted I probably took more risks travelling in more dangerous areas when I was younger but I don't think it was just that. Now I read this forum and am struck by how many people say crime is no worse there than in say the US or Europe. People didn't used to say that very often.

And in all the times I've lived or gone back to Peru, Peruvians have always said it was getting worse rather than better!

So I would say there has always been a fear of crime in Peru, but now it is probably less justified even if it is prudent in many cases.


My impression is that it has pretty much stayed the same, and that things like fraud have diminished as the systems here have improved. But.. all annectotal.

I had to smile at your perhaps-freudian-slip, calling the "nineties" the "naughties". :D
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Re: is fear of crime worse than crime itself?

Postby chi chi » Tue Jan 21, 2014 2:53 pm

Sergio Bernales wrote:However, the situation in Latin America is that crime is rising in many countries, so perception of rising crime is generally matched by reality. The most dangerous is Venezuala, whose murder rate is equal to the US and Europe Union's combined despite having a tiny population. Each country appears to have different reasons, but in Mexico, for example, there is the well documented influence of the drugs trade, gang warfare over turf and the large quantities of arms being smuggled over the border from the United States.


Most murdercases are about criminals killing other criminals. Mostly, is has to do with drugs or territory.
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Re: is fear of crime worse than crime itself?

Postby tomsax » Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:33 pm

Alan wrote: had to smile at your perhaps-freudian-slip, calling the "nineties" the "naughties".


I meant the noughties! Spelling has never been my strong point.
Interesting you think crime hasn't changed.
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Re: is fear of crime worse than crime itself?

Postby teamoperu » Wed Jan 22, 2014 8:19 am

Public perceptions... Canada, a country with a relatively low crime rate, and the crime rate has been dropping, still has been electing a political party with a “tough on crime” platform. Like Humala, tough on crime but what ever happened to his platform of sending delinquents to the military? Is not public perception (fear) of crime worse than the actual crime rate? Is not gringo perception of being robbed worse than the actual gringo robbery rate?
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Re: is fear of crime worse than crime itself?

Postby teamoperu » Wed Jan 22, 2014 9:08 am

Alan wrote:I heard an economist argue once that much violent crime is driven by demographics. This is because the prime candidates to carry out violent crimes are young men. As they age, they either mellow, go to jail, or die a premature - and possibly a violent - death. In Peru our average age is 24 years old, so we have a lot of young men running around, hence, a higher than average crime rate. Seems like a logical argument...


Heard a good interview with a long time prison director talking about recidivism. When they let the young ones go, they come back. Hold them until they are in the 30s and they don't. His theory too – age
dependent, generally.
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Re: is fear of crime worse than crime itself?

Postby 28°N 82°W » Wed Jan 22, 2014 9:32 am

How prevalent are gangs in Peru?
If there are gangs, do they engage in turf battles?
Tag (spray paint) their territory?
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Re: is fear of crime worse than crime itself?

Postby TShadow » Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:20 am

All of my friends who lived in the Fujimori era are saying that Lima was a much safer place to live.

There is no doubt that crime has increased in Peru during the last years. Criminal assaults are becoming more and more violent, and still many crimes are not even reported to the police.

Also there are new more sophisticated crimes happening like credit cards cloning, an activity absolutely on the rise. Also as there is more money circulating investment frauds are also on the rise.

The peruvian society has the worst examples of criminals and corruption right in front of them sitting in the congress. Peru just went down 4 places in the general confidence and reliable world index, also mostly due to the increasing corruption and lack of punishment does make matters worse.

I wouldn't say that the fear of crime is worse than crime itself, it can make you feel generally unsafe, but also it should make you more aware of crime dangers.

It certainly is not funny to live in a country where you have to be afraid to withdraw some cash in your bank because of the marcas, and don't tell me that I shouldn't do it as sometimes it's impossible to avoid.

Many expats living here think that crime has been the same over the last years, maybe they think so because living here and not being involved give them such a feeling, but the real numbers are speaking differently.
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Re: is fear of crime worse than crime itself?

Postby tupacperu » Wed Jan 22, 2014 1:09 pm

Alan wrote:
tomsax wrote:Alan I'd be interested to here how you think crime rates have changed in Peru over the time you've been there (20 years +?) and also others peopes views who have been there for a long time

My impression and it is only an impression is that crime has fallen since the 1980s. I got robbed or people attempted to rob me at least 6 times in Peru when I was first there for a year and a half in the late 80s. And I heard stories of robbery all that time. In the naughties I was there for six years and only suffered one minor robbery. Granted I probably took more risks travelling in more dangerous areas when I was younger but I don't think it was just that. Now I read this forum and am struck by how many people say crime is no worse there than in say the US or Europe. People didn't used to say that very often.

And in all the times I've lived or gone back to Peru, Peruvians have always said it was getting worse rather than better!

So I would say there has always been a fear of crime in Peru, but now it is probably less justified even if it is prudent in many cases.


My impression is that it has pretty much stayed the same, and that things like fraud have diminished as the systems here have improved. But.. all annectotal.

I had to smile at your perhaps-freudian-slip, calling the "nineties" the "naughties". :D


The rate are bogus, there are people who are robbed and do not go to the police because it is business as usual. just go to Youtube and check some of the robbery video, the people just get up and continue on their way. it has become a way of life for many Peruvian. They know that the police cannot do much.
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Re: is fear of crime worse than crime itself?

Postby tupacperu » Wed Jan 22, 2014 1:19 pm

YouTube

Los Cogoteros:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJFn5VFSZt0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrRARwE69NQ

Stealing a bike or breaking into a car does not compare to what they do when they choke hold you and rob you. Thai Boxing may not help you because these guys travel in large groups. Recently a foreigner who was a Martial Artist and ex-military was killed trying to resist being robbed in LA Victoria , near his home

http://elcomercio.pe/actualidad/1625747 ... a-victoria
Last edited by tupacperu on Wed Jan 22, 2014 1:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: is fear of crime worse than crime itself?

Postby tomsax » Wed Jan 22, 2014 1:41 pm

TShadow wrote:All of my friends who lived in the Fujimori era are saying that Lima was a much safer place to live.



Are they by chance Fujimori supporters?

I suppose being less cynical they might be Fujimoristas because they liked the low crime rate they percieved.

But I was there then and the difference was not that marked compared to the 6 years I was there after Fujimori. In my experience these perceptions tend to be based on political allegiances rather than the other way around.
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Re: is fear of crime worse than crime itself?

Postby Alan » Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:04 pm

tupacperu wrote:

Stealing a bike or breaking into a car does not compare to what they do when they choke hold you and rob you. Thai Boxing may not help you because these guys travel in large groups. Recently a foreigner who was a Martial Artist and ex-military was killed trying to resist being robbed in LA Victoria , near his home



Fair point, but the version I heard is that he had frustrated a robbery of others, and was shot shortly thereafter in retaliation. It wasn´t a case of numbers, but weapons.
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Re: is fear of crime worse than crime itself?

Postby chi chi » Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:08 pm

tomsax wrote:
TShadow wrote:All of my friends who lived in the Fujimori era are saying that Lima was a much safer place to live.



Are they by chance Fujimori supporters?

I suppose being less cynical they might be Fujimoristas because they liked the low crime rate they percieved.

But I was there then and the difference was not that marked compared to the 6 years I was there after Fujimori. In my experience these perceptions tend to be based on political allegiances rather than the other way around.


My gf also told me that Lima was a safer place when Fujimori was president and she isn't a Fujimori supporter.
In La Selva, I often hear that during the years when terrorists were running the place, it was safer as thieves and drugaddicts got killed by them.
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Re: is fear of crime worse than crime itself?

Postby TShadow » Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:01 pm

Are they by chance Fujimori supporters?


No way. Not then not now.

And again agree with chi chi.
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Re: is fear of crime worse than crime itself?

Postby gringito » Wed Jan 22, 2014 9:40 pm

28°N 82°W wrote:How prevalent are gangs in Peru?
If there are gangs, do they engage in turf battles?
Tag (spray paint) their territory?

Gangs exist, though gang crime is not that distinct as in the USA.

Some also tag.

Have a look at youtube searching for
pandillas or pandilleros Lima / Callao.

In some videos you will also see how much security cameras in Lima help the citizens: not at all....

Examples:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQF5F3OqYR0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uz5uhy-OEQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAP5Jr3Gv00
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPjNTV7_R1w
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Re: is fear of crime worse than crime itself?

Postby caliguy » Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:39 am

gringito wrote:In some videos you will also see how much security cameras in Lima help the citizens: not at all....

exactly. such a waste of money if they are not utilized in stopping crime. i went to the police after my business was robbed and asked for a copy of the vid. (which i had to pay for) police acted like i was asking for their 1st. born.
every place has it's own spirit. you just need to tune into it.

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