UPP: I want one too!

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

by Priscila Marotti (text) and Analder Lopes (picture)

It is not necessary to have a Pacifier Police Unit (UPP) inside one’s community to like the idea of having one. A recent poll conducted by the Brazilian Institute of Social Research (IBPS) indicates that, while 93% of the people residing in communities where the pacifier police is present feel safer in those places, 70% of the people living in other communities are in favor of having UPPs in the neighborhood. The numbers, released by IBPS and published last Sunday on O Globo newspaper, confirm the research done by the Getúlio Vargas Foundation (FGV) last May, which showed that 66% of the residents at Santa Marta and Cidade de Deus approved the work of the police.

The new study also showed that the main goal of the Pacifier Police Units – to terminate the power of armed traffic and the territorial disputes – is being achieved at the occupied communities: according to 97% of the residents, the shootings and the incidence of armed men walking around have ended or decreased a lot.

The research, carried out between the 21st and the 25th of January, consisted of 600 phone interviews with residents from the communities that have UPPs (Santa Marta, Cidade de Deus, Batam, Babilônia, Chapéu Mangueira, Pavão-Pavãozinho and Cantagalo) – the exceptions were Tabajaras and Cabritos, where the occupation is still too recent.  Other 600 people from 44 communities around the capital were also interviewed.

“We were lacking a broader understanding of the impact that these units are having in the lives of these people and in the way they perceive things. That’s why we decided to compare the communities that already have units with the ones that don’t,” explains IBPS’s president, Geraldo Tadeu.

“Today, your community is controlled by…” the UPP, according to 75% of the people residing in communities where the UPP is present. Nobody answered “the traffic”. Also, 79% of the interviewed residents confirmed that armed men are no longer walking around the community.

Even those who don’t live close to a unit are in favor of the project. Seventy two percent of the residents from communities that don’t have a UPP believe that the implementation is a positive measure.

“This result shows that the work being done at the UPPs is consistent. The numbers show to society that there is a way out. It is not the solution for all of Rio’s problems, but it is a way of giving back to these people their rights as citizens,” states Roberto Sá, sub-secretary of planning and operational integration.

Still according to Sá, the most important victories of the UPPs are the possibility of having public and private services getting to the communities, as well as social inclusion. The research indicates that 72% of the residents awarded with UPPs feel more respected by people from outside the community.

“The UPP project is a gateway for citizenship. People are starting to realize that these places are integrated to the neighborhood. Every person who lives there has the same right to public security as any other citizen,” he concludes.

Read the researches in full (Portuguese):





When soccer becomes a lesson