At least in two Brazilian states, the police became a laughingstock because of advice given to the population. To get rid of any threats of thieves, women of Paraíba state were advised by police to look angry while walking the streets.
That was one of the instructions given by the website of the secretariat of public security of the state, in northeastern Brazil. “If you feel unsafe when walking at night on a deserted street, or when leaving the bank with the money in the bag, make angry face, wrinkle his eyebrows, speak loudly to herself”.
In the State of Bahia, also in the northeast, the jokes about the police were plentiful. The biggest criticisms referred to the fact that the website of the secretary of public safety recommend that people always carry with them a minimum amount of money to not annoy the thieves. A comment that is usually done by anyone living in a big city, but no one expects to hear from anyone who would keep thieves out of circulation.
Of course all the well-intentioned tips offered by police were removed from webistes as soon as the mockery started in the comments on the news and social networks. But this was not the first time that the Brazilian police provoked laughter when trying to show they were working.
Right in the style of Woody Allen’s movie “Take the money and run”, in which a clumsy thief can not communicate to the cashier of a bank that is carrying out an assault, the government of Bahia sent a press release few years ago, stating that it had bought 20 cars for use in covert investigations…along with photos of cars.
Other tips were given by the police website, like the suggestion that drivers should keep in the trunk of the car an extra cell to notify the police if the kidnappers lock someone in this compartment, and a piece of wire that can be used by the victim in an attempt to open the trunk. Although they caused laughter, as a joke of Steve Guttenberg, the tips of the police actually brought shame and indignation to a society that lives in one of the most violent countries in Latin America and needs to rely on that police.