Instituto Fernand Braudel de Economia Mundial - Associado à FAAP

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2002 Crime Rankings in Small, Medium-Sized and Large São Paulo Municipalities

Coefficients for homicides, theft, robbery and vehicle theft (grand theft auto) per 100,000 inhabitants

Author: José Peres Netto | April 2003

This work creates crime rankings within large municipalities (greater than 100 thousand inhabitants in the 2000 census), within medium-sized municipalities (between 40 and 100 thousand inhabitants) and within small municipalities (between 20 and 40 thousand inhabitants). The rankings were created from coefficients of four types of crime per 100,000 inhabitants: homicides, theft, robbery and vehicle theft (grand theft auto). The rankings are independent for each type of crime and for each municipality size.

Two rankings were created: The first is a result of a simple summation of the relative positions of the crime coefficients for each municipality. The coefficients are in descending order, with the largest coefficient being ranked first or with a coefficient order of 1. The coefficient immediately below will be ranked second or with a coefficient order of 2, and the rest follow in order until the 61st, which is the last ranking or the municipality with a coefficient order of 61.

Take the example of Diadema: Its homicide coefficient is 53, or 1 per 100,000 inhabitants. It is 9th on the homicide rankings, 48th in theft rankings, 11th in robberies and 7th in vehicle theft.

If we add the rankings for homicides (9) + theft (48)+ robbery (11)+ vehicle theft (7), we will have the simple sum 9+48+11+7=75. The number 75 makes Diadema rank 6th overall in terms of the combination of previously mentioned crime rankings.

The second ranking considers distinct weights for each of the four types of crime, in concordance with their level of seriousness. The following weights were assigned: 1 for theft, 3 for robbery, 2 for vehicle theft and 6 for homicide. Based on the weighted average criterion, the weights fall into the classification of each crime found in the regular average.

Let’s use Diadema again with the weighted average criterion: Homicides rank 9 X weight of 6 gives us 54 points. Thefts rank 48 X weight of 1 gives us 48 points. Robbery rank 11 X weight of 3 gives us 33 points. And finally vehicle theft rank 7 X weight of 2 gives us 14 points. If we add up the points after the weighted average we have 54+48+33+14=149, which means that Diadema has the 4th least weighted total or holds the fourth position or fourth place in the weighted rankings.

What stood out most in the study was the contrast between thefts (minor crimes) and violent crimes. An example is Barretos, which has the second highest coefficient for theft, yet the last coefficient for robberies, the 55th coefficient for homicides and he last for vehicle theft. In comparison, Embu is the last in thefts and the first in homicides. It appears to us that where minor crimes are reported, violent, more serious crimes do not flourish. We divided the number of thefts by the number of robberies and noted that where this relationship is large the municipality is quiet, and when this relationship is similar violence marks the coefficients.

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