Throughout the first decade of the 21st century, homicide mortality rate (HMR) significantly decreased in the state of São Paulo. In the city of São Paulo (MSP), this rate dropped by 74% between 2001 and 2008, from 56.4 to 14.9 per 100 000 inhabitants. The role of public safety measures in the reduction in HMR has been widely discussed in studies conducted in the USA. The international literature also emphasises the importance of demographic and socioeconomic changes in the drug use pattern to reduce violence and crime levels.
Objective To analyse the association between homicides and public security indicators in MSP between 1996 and 2008.
Methodology Time-series ecological study. Dependent variable: number of homicide deaths per year; Independent variables: arrest-incarceration rate (TAE), access to firearms (AAF), police activity (ATP), Unemployment rate and youth in population. Data analysis was conducted in Stata.IC 10.0. Simple and Multiple negative binomial regression models were run.
Results Homicide and TAE, and Homicide and ATP were significantly associated in simple regression analysis (p>0,05). After controlling for covariates the associations with both the public security indicators were not significant.
Conclusions In MSP the role of public security indicators loss their importance after adjustment for unemployment rate and youth in population. The results reinforce the importance of socioeconomic and demographic factors for the change in the public security scenario.