Public Services in Rio de Janeiro


Emergency services in Rio de Janeiro


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The main emergency number is 190 and connects to the military police.
For Ambulance emergency service, call 192.
For Firefighters, call 193.

In Brazil, every state has two police forces: the Civil (Polícia Civil) and Military (Polícia Militar). The Military wear navy blue uniforms. Rio also has an unarmed Civil Guard, dressed in khaki.
Policemen are generally trust-worthy but there have been many incidents of corruption within in Brazil. Extortion from police officers is not uncommon. This can be as subtle as saying something about "some for the beer" (cervejinha). If you are not willing, try refuse and asking for another officer.

If there is a robbery or you need the Tourist Police:
DEAT - The Tourist Police. Specializes in handling foreigners problems and they speak English.
24-hr. contact line
tel. 021/3399-7170
Av. Humberto de Campos 315, Leblon
E-mail:deat@pcerj.rj.gov.br / delegaciaespecializada@gmail.com

Crime & Safety

Brazil has experienced an unfortunate amount of violence and has an exceptionally high crime rate for tourists and teenagers. To combat some of these issues, Rudolph Giuliani was hired in December 2009 to help secure the city and state.

Tips to Stay Safe

  • Don't take expensive or irreplaceable items out with you. If you would like to carry a camera, try to keep it mostly hidden or just avoid the worry with a disposable camera. This is especially true with beaches. Just take your bathing suit, a towel and enough money for food and drinks.
  • Take care of how you dress. A gringo is more likely to be targeted so avoid wearing baseball caps, shiny sunglasses and black socks (white socks with sneakers is a less noticeable combination). Backpacks are a giveaway. Bermuda shorts, T-shirts, and a pair of Havaianas are less likely to be noticed.
  • Keep small change handy and only carry what you need.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and where you are going. Before arriving in a new place, get a map. Use taxis to avoid walking through high-risk areas. Being alert and walking with purpose helps make you look like less of a victim.
  • Use ATMs located inside buildings.

Dangerous Areas

  • The city center after commercial hours- On weekdays after 7pm and before 9am, Saturdays after 4pm and on Sunday, this area is not safe.
  • Outskirts of Santa Teresa- This neighborhood is surrounded by favelas.
  • Favelas- There are around 700 favelas or slums in the city. Easily recognized by their expansive brick walls, drug transactions are common here and police raids are frequent. This results in many violent transactions. Visiting a favela can only be done with someone who lives or works there or with a tourist agency. Police cannot be counted on to help as they don't enter the favela lightly. Despite this troubling reputation, favelas are a unique experience.
  • Highways and intersections- Carjacking is a common occurrence, as are stray bullets. Linha Vermelha, Linha Amarela and Avenida das Americas tend to be the most dangerous roadways. Many local drivers do not complete full stops after dark as small children approach vehicles either trying to sell trinkets, or steal cars.
  • Parks- after dark it is too dangerous to carry valuables
  • Lagoa- after sundown this area is deserted. Same goes for streets and beaches at night.
  • Avenida Nossa Senhora de Copacabana- this is no longer safe, even by day. Armed gangs patrol the street and tourists are targeted.

Update 29/05/2010

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