Prevention or repression? The false dilemma of citizen security
There is a marked contrast between the growing sense of insecurity among the population and the absence of consolidated statistics that would allow the phenomenon to be measured more objectively. This article seeks to make a contribution to the knowledge of the situation of citizen insecurity affecting the region, taking a comparative view based on the limited and not always reliable information available and looking at the problem from various standpoints, both social and economic. The authors begin by examining some manifestations of criminal violence in the 1990s, especially in urban areas, after which they review the most important theories on the study of violence, the profiles of victims and attackers, traditional and emerging forms of delinquency, the frequent relation between violence and unemployment, the economic cost of violence and delinquency, and the main policies adopted to deal with them. They then go on to examine the measures taken in the region with regard to citizen security, which have shown the need to use more integral forms of prevention (primary and secondary); and control for dealing with criminal violence and to consolidate the systems of crime statistics of the region in order to be able to identify the factors with the greatest incidence on criminal violence and the less visible forms taken by the latter.