The idea for the X-Ray came up in 2011, as a way of creating a data bank specifically for the news report, and due to the difficulty in obtaining credible data within a deadline that would not depend on the government’s whims. It consisted, much like it does nowadays, in collecting, and updating on a daily basis, information on homicide cases. As such, the basis of this data bank is the initial assessment of each crime, setting aside further investigative developments. This year, the data bank was made public, and it is regularly updated online. The importance of this assessment is to further the search for solutions, both by public authorities and by society, to the homicide and violence issues in the city. It is also an important tool for academic studies on violence in Porto Alegre, since it is not simply about assessing homicide numbers, but also potentially creating profiles from victims and determining where the crimes occur. The X-ray of Violence reveals a conflagrated Porto Alegre.
What makes this project innovative?
Created in 2011, the survey provides unique data on homicides and robberies in all neighborhoods of Porto Alegre. The data are collected and fed into the tool (playback on the side) from the moment the occurrences are logged. The map, therefore, is independent of the official statistics of the Secretariat of Security (SSP). The study is the only one available that allows identifying crimes by year, age group, sex and neighborhood. In Rio Grande do Sul stante, the data released by the SSP are limited to the general number of homicides by municipalities. Since 2011, the unpublished work is distinguished by showing the homicides by the number of victims. The state has only begun to include this data in its disclosures - not just homicides by number of occurrences - from the end of last year. Even so, in the form of an asterisk below the official indexes. In São Paulo, for example, after several university studies on the reality of homicides, the data began to be divulged 15 years ago with all these details. The disclosure of criminal statistics, with as much detail and transparency as possible, is fundamental to planning public security actions without the risk of falling into magic solutions that are not effective.
What was the impact of your project? How did you measure it?
Independent monitoring of deaths has had an impact on the authorities. Faced with the growth of homicides, in early 2013 the Homicide Department of Porto Alegre was created, with six specialized police stations instead of the two that until then were in charge of the investigation of these crimes in the Capital. According to the Civil Police, the homicide resolution index in Porto Alegre would have jumped from 10% to over 60%. The importance of the survey is also observed as an instrument for the analysis and projection of scenarios on violence. At the beginning of 2015, the survey served as the basis for the release of the Metropolitan Region homicides by the Mexican NGO Seguridad, Justicia y Paz. The index, with data from the crimes of 2014, placed the region among the 50 most violent in the world.
Source and methodology
Virtually all neighborhoods, at least in some of the analyzed years, have outnumbered one murder per 10,000 inhabitants per year, a number considered acceptable by the UN. The average of Porto Alegre is 38 murders for every 10 thousand inhabitants per year in this period. The tool was made from a survey organized by the Security editor since the beginning of 2011. There are at least 3,697 people killed in homicides and robberies on a map now publicly available, with daily updates. Among the tragic cuts of this count, the loss of young people is the one that leaves marks of greater loss for the future of the city.
The X-ray shows the names, dates, neighborhoods and streets where murders happen in Porto Alegre. The data are still separated by the year, type of crime (murder and robbery), the ages and sex of the victims.The tool allows the reader to cross any of these items displayed on the map. (Example: homicides in 2011, in the neighborhood Rubem Berta, with victims between 18 and 24 years old, male). HTML, Google Maps, Java Script and Google Spreedsheet.