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ARGENTINA | 26-01-2021 09:00

Nine out of ten porteños feel unsafe on City streets, study finds

New study probing crime and insecurity finds that nine out of ten porteños say they feel unsafe on the streets of Buenos Aires.

A new study probing opinions on crime and insecurity says that nine out of ten porteños said they felt unsafe on the streets of the capital last year.

The 'IX Quality of Life Index' from the Observatorio Gente en Movimiento ("People in Motion Observatory") looked at public sentiment regarding crime and feelings of insecurity in 2020.

It found that 44 percent of porteños (residents of Buenos Aires City) said they were "more afraid to leave the house compared with the period before the pandemic, and 43 percent are just as afraid as before.”

“This means that 87 percent of Buenos Aires City inhabitants are afraid to leave their house due to insecurity. That is, nine out of ten porteños,” wrote the report's authors.

The survey was overseen by lawmaker and journalist Gisela Marziotta, a member of the Chamber of Deputies for Frente de Todos coalition who previously ran for deputy City mayor in 2019, seconding Matías Lammens' unsuccessful bid to defeat incumbent Horacio Rodríguez Larreta,

"Insecurity has been climbing among the priorities of porteños, according to the ninth edition of the report on Quality of Life [written] during the Covid-19 Crisis in CABA," said Marziotta. 

Though virus infection rates have now soared to a level as high as that of the peak in August 2020, security remains a top priority for porteños, with 23 percent placing it as their top priority.

The report also indicated a “gender divide in the phenomenon of current insecurity," showing women to be more fearful than men. Some 52 percent of female citizens were afraid to leave the house, compared with 34 percent of their male counterparts. 

In recent years, a number of high-profile incidents have drawn attention to crime in the capital. In December 2019, two British tourists were robbed outside of the Faena Hotel in Puerto Madero, with a 50-year-old man losing his life. Last month, an Armenian citizen living in the capital was murdered while a robber attempted to steal his bicycle.

In 2017, Argentina had the highest rate of robbery in all of South America, according to the Citizen Security Observatory (OSC).

Survey touches on travel

The report also revealed that one in three Buenos Aires residents are looking for a cheaper form of transport.

The researchers speculated that "shortcomings in the public transport system have led to an increase in the use of private cars, which has negative externalities for the rest of the city (road insecurity, the excessive use of space per person travelling, noise pollution and air pollution)."

The Observatorio Gente en Movimiento said more needed to be done to discourage the use of cars, calling the implementation of an effective public transport system that caters to the needs of the city. 

The survey quizzed 600 individuals representative of the City's make-up, and had a four-percent margin of error.

— TIMES/NA

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