Friday 27 January 2023

Most Costa Ricans feel insecure, yet very few invest to protect themselves

83% of those surveyed said they did not pay for any private service to take care of their homes

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27 January 2023 - At The Banks - BCCR

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QCOSTARICA – A study carried out by the National University (UNA) showed that the majority in Costa Rica believe that they live in a very unsafe environment, but very few of invest in their protection.

This conclusion stems from the results obtained in the survey on the perception of security in Costa Rica 2019, carried out by the Migrations, Social Change and Identities Program (PMCSI) of the Institute of Social Studies in Population (IDESPO) of the UNA.

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The survey, conducted over the telephone taking in the response of a thousand people in October 2019, revealed that 69% of the surveyed considered that they did not live safely in the country, despite the fact that only 1.7% of had a direct experience of violence or insecurity.

Regarding the protection measures they have taken, 69.4% of those interviewed said that they have installed bars, gates and alarms, while 60.3% explained that they only have one dog who looks after their house, and 44.6% of the participants said they had a WhatsApp group with neighbors.

The study revealed that Ticos do not invest as much in their security as they really would like, as 83% of those surveyed said they did not pay for any private security services, either from a formal company or from the so-called “guachimanes” (informal security guards).

“This suggests that the population prefers to invest in decisions about the type of equipment or to improve infrastructure and then occasionally some type of maintenance, rather than with an option that accrues a permanent, fixed, stable and sustained expense.

“Those who did say they pay a person to take care of their homes (17%), do not get much out of their pocket either, since 31.6% pay between ¢5000 to ¢20,000 colones per month for this service. In addition, the fact highlighted that they would rather pay a guachiman than hire a professional officer.

“It could be speculated that it may also be due to the fact that they have other spending priorities at home, lack of resources to pay for this type of service, or they attribute this responsibility to the State,” the report says.

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