ENUSC 2018: after six years, a drop in crime in Chile

The Crime Victimization Survey (ENUSC), presented by the President of Chile Sebastián Piñera, records a 2.6% drop in crime – meaning that roughly 130,000 homes had a year without one of the residents being a victim of a crime.

The survey is one of the most highly rated in the country by experts in security issues, as over 27,000 households in urban areas take part in the survey according to the data sheet, this would represent 13 million people in 5 million households. It was carried out between September and December 2018 with people over 15.

In accordance with the results of the ENUSC 2018, carried out by the CEAD – Centre of Studies and Analysis of Crime- and as a measure of crime rates all over the country, in 25.4% of households, at least one member was victim of a crime. This crime percentage in 2018 is the lowest in the series: in 2012, the percentage was 24.3%, in 2013, it was 22.8% and in 2014, it was 23.5%.

One of the aspects that has been most stressed by representatives of the survey is that the perception of insecurity continues to fall for another year. The idea that crime had increased reached its peak in 2015 with 86.8% of those interviewed expressing this view. This figure dropped in 2016 and 2017, and the survey now shows another decrease to 76.8% of those interviewed.

Regarding the percentage of people interviewed who stated that they had reported a crime if they had been a victim, these amounted to 35.1%, a lower figure than previous years. This figure has been going down since 2015 when it reached 43.5% of those interviewed having reported a crime.

Furthermore, in 2018, 6.6% of households in the country were re-victimized, meaning that a person was a victim a second time or more of a serious crime.

The insignificance of the crime, the possible loss of time or the lack of trust in the police and the judicial system are among the causes for not reporting a crime.

Regarding the typology of crimes, the survey compares the results of 2017 and 2018 and figures related to almost all types of crime go down. When asked if you or any member of your household was victim of a crime such as a theft with violence and/or intimidation, 4.6 answer affirmatively whereas in 2017 the percentage was 5.1%. Similar figures answer positively in the case of household robbery with the use of force and go down from 5.1% to 4.8% in 2018. But the most noteworthy drop is that involving the theft of objects from vehicles which goes down from 14.2% in 2017 to 11.6% in 2018.

The ENUSC also assessed what source of information people used to be informed about the criminal world. Over half of those interviewed – 50.2% – used the television, 13.8% referred to other people and 12.5% because they had experienced crime themselves.

As far as anti-social behaviour is concerned, most typologies have gone down as a percentage since 2017 and the presence of abandoned dogs, street vending and the existence of graffiti on walls are stressed. While other noteworthy typologies remain stable in comparison with the previous year like alcohol and drug consumption in public places, the accumulation of litter and rubbish, people sleeping in the street, and unauthorised sale of alcohol and prostitution.

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