Is crime really increasing in Chile?

Fear of crime among Chileans is high. A recent Cadem opinion poll indicates a growing concern about security, which has reached its highest level since 2014. And it’s not for nothing: official statistics for 2022 show an increasing number of crimes compared to the previous years.

Fear of crime in Chile has notched a new high in 2022. On Dec. 4, Cadem, the leading market research and public opinion polling company in Chile, in its weekly Plaza Pública poll, reported that 80 percent of people interviewed were worried about crime. This is the highest percentage since 2014.

In addition, 87 percent of the people surveyed believed that crime had increased in the last year. Among the crimes that evoke the greatest concerns are muggings and carjackings (portonazos), followed by home burglaries, and homicides.

The results collected by Center for Criminal Studies and Analysis validate people’s concerns.  The center presented official statistics on offences of major social significance, domestic violence, incivilities and other acts reported by Chile’s national police (Carabineros) and its Investigations Police to the Ministry of the Interior and Public Security, showing a startling reality.

Table is taken from this website:

Data show a substantial increase in crimes of greater social connotation (which includes burglaries, thefts, homicides, and rape) – 335,017 in 2021 and 354,683 in 2022. Similarly, violation of the arms law, receiving crimes, and failed robberies have an increasing trend. However, domestic violence, sexual abuse, and incivilities are decreasing.

Public opinion is divided on the root causes of the increasing crime. Some 31 percent of respondents believe the increase in immigration is the main reason for the increase in crime in 2022, representing a 10 percentage point increase over August earlier this year.

The second most popular option chosen was the insufficient powers of the Carabineros to combat crime (26 percent), followed by the option that the courts of justice and the prosecutor’s offices are not functioning properly (22 percent).





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