Skip to main content

Las Condes, Chile

Crime Falls as Data-Driven Governance Rises

Project Type:
Community Engagement, Environment, Equity, Health and Wellbeing, Infrastructure, Public Safety, Technology, Transportation

At a Glance

More than 3,000 innovative security technologies, including cameras, sensors and drones in Las Condes. Of these, there are about 1,900 video surveillance cameras that stream data to an analytics software that detects possible crimes.

Robberies fell by 22% in 2023.

51 different movements the analytics program flags as potential problems.

Crime rates have risen in recent years in Latin America. But Las Condes, an affluent municipality of about 340,000 people that abuts Chile’s capital city, offers a different story: Its crime levels have fallen. For Las Condes’ leaders, this is proof that their strategy for improving public safety is working as planned.

Las Condes doesn’t have its own police force—instead there are municipal guards that are usually first responders. Municipal guards help uphold local regulations and maintain public order, but have limited law enforcement authority. Thus, state police forces are ultimately responsible for public safety. So leaders turned to technology, not manpower, to help make the city safer. Setting up a municipal network of security cameras around the city was key. To determine the most effective sites for thousands of cameras, the City identified locations with high numbers of thefts and other crimes between 2018 and 2022. The next step was integrating the cameras (there are now about 1,900 in place) with a predictive analytics software platform that could support fast police responses. The software analyzes data from the videos and automatically alerts municipal guards to potential crimes.

“For us, a smart city is not about gadgets; it’s a strategy and, of course, it’s always evolving.”

Daniela Peñaloza, Mayor

While Las Condes’ leaders were confident the security video network would boost safety, they also understood that residents had legitimate privacy concerns. To address them, officials make footage available to residents upon request. They’re also transparent about how the cameras are used—and how they fit into Las Condes’ larger public safety strategy.

Mayor Daniela Peñaloza calls the analytics system the City’s “brain.” And data-driven decision-making didn’t end once the strategy was up and running.

The City maintains a heat map detailing crime—e.g., where it happened, what was stolen, mode of transportation, etc. Each week, municipal inspectors review the map, while also tracking a predictive crime model fed by fresh data.

In 2022, crime fell across all categories except one: pedestrian robberies. After digging into the data, including video footage, officials realized there was a surge in crimes committed by people disguised as motorcycle delivery drivers. In response, the City’s public safety inspectors began using motorcycles to improve their mobility and address robbery hotspots. The result: Robberies dropped by 22% in 2023. As of May 2024, crime has dropped by 29% compared to the same period in 2023.

For Mayor Peñaloza, this is just one example that illustrates the power of data-driven governance. “In Las Condes, data paired with advanced analytics has become an essential part of our strategy for improving public safety,” she says.

Join Our Certified Cities!