Crime index falls, crime reporting rises
By Antonio De Jesús Aguado
Recently, several violent acts have occurred in the city; nonetheless, from 2011 to 2012 San Miguel’s ranking in the index of crime in the state has decreased, said the director of Public Security, Carlos Godínez. He said that the statistics of reported crimes have increased because more people are now reporting crimes that previously were unreported.
Godínez, who replaced the former, removed director of Public Security, took over the department determined to make the necessary internal changes to decrease crime in the city. He commented that when he came on board two years ago San Miguel was ranked fifth in the state in terms of crime, but that information for 2012 from the Guanajuato general attorney’s office shows that the city is now ranked 11th on the crime index. “We are lower than municipalities such as Salamanca, San Luis de la Paz and even Guanajuato, and we have the same population,” said Godínez.
According to the police chief, since 2011 the indicators of insecurity have increased, but he made it clear that the reported crimes have always existed but before they were not reported by the citizens or registered by the department of security. He said that when he took over the department he made internal changes to have better and quicker response to crime. During his direction, the police officers’ salaries and working hours were improved, as well as their equipment. Godínez commented that they worked along with the neighborhoods and rural communities in order to instill a culture of denouncing crime. As an example, he said, “We used to receive 100 calls daily, and the number increased to 150 after that. Every crime, it does not matter what kind, is registered now. For that reason, the statistics have increased.” The director also said that the most reported crimes this year have been those related to property, such as burglary (145), vehicle theft (110) and robbery of businesses (91). Godínez also commented that thanks to the culture of denouncing, although the department does not have enough personnel, they have immediately responded to reports of crime received at the emergency number (066.) When the crimes are reported quickly, the offenders are more likely to be arrested and vehicles confiscated, and crime scenes are better preserved.
Concerning recent crimes (kidnapping, burglary, murder and placing of narcomantas –canvas banners with messages from criminal groups), Godínez commented that these events are not exclusive to the municipality and are happening in the whole country. He said that San Miguel, like any other city, is susceptible to these crimes, but he made it clear that San Miguel’s criminal index is still under the national average. He said that in San Miguel they have worked in coordination with federal and state forces, but the presence of the army or federal police officers is not necessary in the city, as in other cities in the state, because San Miguel is still safe.