Region/Countries: Mexico, North America Industry: Energy, Power and Control, Other Date: March 2020

Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: Residents and business alike are in search of solutions to stem the economic impact of property crimes.

The Mexican National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI), via National Survey of Victimization and Perception on Public Safety (ENVIPE) research, estimates the total costs of crime activity in Mexico at around 1.54% of the country´s GDP during 2018, or $286 billion MXN ($13 billion USD). This figure is the result of combining the total costs of three factors: medical direct costs caused by felonies, monetary direct losses caused by crime, and monetary costs of individuals and companies trying to prevent further crime (for example, installation of surveillance equipment, contracting private security agents, installing fences and perimeter protection, etc.).

Other research institutions are critical of this conclusion by the INEGI, pointing out that estimating the cost of crime is a highly complex task. According to the nonprofit Observatorio Mexico, the country actually loses between 10% and 15% of its GDP to crime and violence costs. This calculation takes into account not only economic losses and investments in protection, but also loss of potential investment (from individuals, corporations and even foreign direct investment), purchases not made (for example,  people not going out to theaters or restaurants at night, less spending on jewels due to fear they may be stolen), companies and businesses closing, companies not expanding operations or even leaving the country, and lower job creation. 

Incidence of robbery, theft and burglary—crimes known as delitos patrimoniales, or crimes against property—is high and has remained high in recent years. Companies and individuals are very concerned about these sorts of crimes; people are worried that a single event may cause devastating damage to residential or commercial property. Given the failure of local authorities to stop this crime, companies and individuals have invested in measures to dissuade criminals from breaking into or trespassing onto private property. It is estimated that during 2018, total cost of actions taken to prevent crimes against property totaled $102 billion MXN ($5 billion USD).

There is a large market opportunity for companies providing devices for making homes, companies and commercial areas safer. Demand is high for surveillance equipment such as cameras, recording equipment, screens and alarm intrusion systems for home and commercial use.  Companies quite commonly act as distributors and representatives of specific brands and products. Unfortunately, there are no reliable statistics on growth of sales for this sort of surveillance equipment. With regard to perimeter protection, Mexico is still behind on the most sophisticated systems, yet this industry is growing. Perimeter protection in Mexico still consists mainly of wire fencing, cyclonic mesh, barbed wire and iron fences. Other, more sophisticated systems, such as boom barriers, ground detection and turnstiles, are less common. The products preferred by companies and corporations include large sliding gates, entrance controls, tripods and complicated security gates.