Don’t use your mobile phone in public in Rio. And if you do, and someone tries to nick it, don’t argue. Muggers often kill victims who resist.
These are the warnings residents in Brazil have offered to football fans who will be heading to their country for the World Cup this summer.
The advice comes as the country was pitched into near anarchy today after thousands of police went on strike to demand a near doubling of pay.
Muggings, robberies, kidnappings and gang violence make Brazil one of the most criminalised countries in the world, with about 28 murders per 100,000 residents.
Meanwhile, massive inequality and dissatisfaction with authorities have led the Foreign Office to warn travellers that ‘protests continue to take place regularly, often without warning,’ in major cities.
In travel advice issued last night, the FCO adds: ‘Levels of crime and violence are high, particularly in major cities.
You should be particularly vigilant before and during the festive and Carnival periods,’ as well as, presumably, the World Cup.
It’s against that backdrop that the nation’s civil police, who deal with criminal inquiries, have staged a one day walk out just 22 days before the start of the tournament, one of the world’s biggest sporting events.