Crimes in Natal - Statistics

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Until recently, Natal was, according to an study conducted by official agencies, one of the safest cities in Brazil, and the safest one among the capital cities.

The city, however, seems to be paying a price for growing too fast; the number of tourists grows by two and three-figure rates, and the investments in hotels and infra-structure are higher than ever. Coincidence or not, the violence statistics skyrocketed.

On Sunday, October 22nd 2006, newspaper Tribuna do Norte published in the front page headline: "Homicides in Natal grow 263%"; original article is here (in Portuguese only, requires registration, should be put off-line soon). Tribuna based the article on a report prepared by the Ministry of Justice of Brazil, which compiled information sent by all State Secretaries of Public Safety; this report, called Map of Violence in Brazil, is available here (PDF format, 2,917 kB) - if you are interested in this report and can't access it, send me a message (webmaster @

The Report details the number of criminal occurrences all over Brazil. Tribuna selected a few pieces of data which refer specifically to Natal.

The number of homicides in Natal was 91 occurrences in 2002; 139, in 2003; 208, in 2004; and 330, in 2005. This is the 263% growth that Tribuna referred to in the headlines. This means that the rate of homicides is 42.4 per 100,000 inhabitants, which puts Natal as the sixth most violent capital in Brazil.
Crimes connected to stealing and robberies grew by 35%; in 2005, there were 18 occurrences of assault by day (6,539 in the year).
Crimes connected to prostitution grew by 19%. Natal is the 4th place in number of prostitutes compared to total population.
Crimes connected to drug traffic grew by 61%; in 2002, Natal was one of the Brazilian cities with lowest number of such crimes; today, the State of Rio Grande do Norte ranks among the ones with highest rates of drug related crimes.

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