Around 12,000 extra police officers will be deployed on the streets of Bogotá over the festive season.
The increased police presence aims to reduce crime during the busy Christmas shopping season, and bring down incidents on Transmilenio, with operating times to be extended until 1am.
San Victorino, Plaza de Las Nieves, La Septima, El Eje Ambiental and Parque Nacional are just some of the areas where extra police will be dispatched.
“Of the 12,000 police to be dispatched across the city, a large number will be within the three zones (El Eje Ambiental, San Victorino and La Septima) mentioned, as these zones have higher footfall from visitors, shoppers and formal trade,” Government Secretary Gloria Flórez Schneider told Colombian media.
Informal commerce and street traders will be asked to relocate to Parque Tercer Milenio during the festive season.
A November study on the perception of crime released by the Bogotá Chamber of Commerce (CCB) showed that people felt street crime was on the wane, whereas the number of people claiming to have suffered crime on public transport has nearly doubled from 17% to 33%.
This means a third of respondents said they’d fallen victim to some form of transport crime in the first six months of the year.
Victims say they have been targeted in SITP buses and busetas, in addition to the city’s other transport systems. Of those surveyed, 86% thought that Transmilenio was unsafe, whilst 46% didn’t feel safe when choosing to take a taxi.
A decree signed on November 11 by outgoing mayor Gustavo Petro will allow free access of uniformed police to the city’s transport system (SITP and Transmilenio) in an attempt to tackle petty crime and opportunists.