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1,100 New Cops Hit the Streets of Rio Will Patrol Tourist Area in Fight Against Gangs

More than 1,000 new police officers will patrol city’s streets and vagrants and homeless people will be targeted in a series of new measures aimed at combatting a spike in gang-related crime, state security officials said Monday. The 1,100 new officers will help the city police patrol the upscale south zone, home to many popular tourist spots, state Security Secretary Anthony Garotinho said . Also, vendors, beggars and homeless children will be removed from the streets of Rio’s famous Copacabana beach district. “We’ll start in the south zone due to its economic importance,” Garotinho said during the swearing-in ceremony of the new officers. More police officers will be added to other areas of Rio later, he said. Rio has one of the highest murder rates in the world and the number of robberies has tripled in the past six years to 1,294 robberies per 100,000 people, according to police statistics. In recent months, increasingly brazen drug gangs have spread terror across the city forcing shops and schools to close and setting buses on ablaze. Few people have been harmed in the attacks. Full Story

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