World Cup 2014: report highlights dangers awaiting fans in Brazil

New report on Brazil’s host cities details risks from theft and violence that nation is spending $840 million to prevent

(SOURCE)  Brazil is deploying around 170,000 security guards and spending half a billion pounds on securing visiting World Cup fans from dangers including muggings, hooliganism and violent crime, a new report estimates.

England fans could also see their visits disrupted by strikes, demonstrations and social unrest the study warns.

The security bill of £500 million ($840 million) for this year’s World Cup is five times higher than in South Africa in 2010 and includes more than £190 million given to the armed forces given to secure Brazil’s borders.

Laurence Allan, head of Latin America Country Risk analysis at IHS, said: “While it is more expensive to operate in Brazil than South Africa, the Brazilian authorities have invested heavily on security and defence equipment to combat a wide range of challenges across the 12 host cities.”

Street crime is the biggest menace to football fans, with cities in the north east holding the greatest threat. But the Brazilian government is also braced for damaging strikes and demonstrations as unions and protest groups use publicity around the World Cup to make demands.

Mr Allan said: “The risk to visitors traveling to host cities can be grouped into three categories: cities with a high risk of theft, a high risk of theft and disruption from protests and those with a lower risk of theft and disruption. The cities are roughly split between all four categories.”

He continued: “Social protests are certain to occur in many of the host cities, but are likely to be on a far smaller scale than those seen last year during the 2013 Confederation Cup.

“The Brazilian authorities have learned lessons from that experience. They have set up command and control centres across the 12 host cities and will be able to flood areas with security personnel if needed.”

“If Brazilian security forces overreact, then we would see a risk that protests would escalate, as they did in 2013.”

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