Four of every 10 police vehicles in Mexico City are not patrolling the streets, according to the capital’s police chief.
Jesús Orta said the 1,146 vehicles that are not in use are either undergoing repairs or have come to the end of their serviceable life.
That leaves 1,719 police cars patrolling the streets of the capital, a city spread over an area of 1,495 square kilometers with a permanent population of just under 9 million.
And yet more police cars are expected to be withdrawn from service over the coming months.
Orta acknowledged that more vehicles are needed but explained that buying them would be too costly. Instead, the Mexico City government will lease them, he said.
“We’re going to change to a leasing model . . . We’re going to always have 950 of every 1,000 police cars on the road,” Orta said.
The security secretary claimed that under the leasing model, there will be 33% more police cars on the road than is currently the case and the government’s security strategy will be strengthened as a result.
However, Orta acknowledged that the success of the strategy also depends on having a well-staffed police force, admitting that “we don’t have an optimal number of officers.”
When the new city government took office on December 5, the preventative police force was made up of 9,000 fewer officers than at the start of the previous administration in 2012, he said.
However, an additional 2,541 new officers were sworn in at an event yesterday that was presided over by Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum.
The mayor explained that the capital is divided into 847 different areas for policing purposes and that the new officers will help “to improve security.”
Sheinbaum added that “everyone – police, citizens, residents of this city, those who visit the city – aspire to have a safe city.”
Mexico City has been considered one of the safest parts of the country for most of this century but crime rates have risen in recent years.
In January, an average of 700 crimes – including homicides, femicides, kidnappings and extortion – were reported in the city each day, the newspaper El Financiero reported.
Last month, Mexico Attorney General Ernestina Godoy accused the former Mexico City government of manipulating crime statistics in order to show an apparent reduction in the incidence of high-impact crimes such as intentional homicides, vehicle theft and aggravated robbery.
Source: El Financiero (sp)