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Crime Increases By 25% in PR

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  • Crime Increases By 25% in PR

    Crime Increases By 25% In First Nine Months Of 2002

    October 2, 2002
    Copyright © 2002 ASSOCIATED PRESS.
    All rights reserved.

    (AP) - Crime increased by 25% during the first nine months of the year, compared to the same period last year, police said Wednesday.

    From Jan. 1 to Oct. 1, police said 68,720 crimes were reported, compared to 54,800 in the same period in 2001.

    San Juan was the hardest-hit by the crime increase, with a nearly 51% rise in total crimes reported, police said.

    Police Superintendent Miguel Pereira said Wednesday that he expects a reduction in the crime rate by the end of the year.

    For Pereira, the rise in crime is not a new problem, but one that goes back two decades.

    "I expect to at least halt the constant increase in the crime rate experienced for the last 20 to 25 years, by the end of the year," the Police superintendent said in a radio interview.

    According to Pereira, the reduction in the crime rate during the past administration was not real.

    "That reduction was achieved only on paper; it was never reported, as the real murder numbers were not reported. I don’t know if the superintendent was aware of it, but statistics were certainly manipulated," Pereira said.

    As of Sept. 30 there have been 576 murders on the island, 14 more than in the first nine months of 2001, according to police statistics.

    Nearly half of the murders—280—were drug-related, and 40 took place during a robbery or carjacking, police said.

    Violent crimes—including murder, rape, aggravated assault and robbery _ increased by about 16%, while property crimes, including car theft and burglary, increased 27%.

    Three new murders were registered in Guaynabo, Naguabo, and Rio Piedras between 10 p.m. and 10:40 p.m. Tuesday.