Brazil offers police raise to avert World Cup strike

BRASïLIA (AFP) - Brazil has offered its federal police force a 15.8-per cent raise in exchange for a promise not to strike during the World Cup, which kicks off on June 12.

Police in the capital Brasilia have accepted the offer, which will now be put to a vote in each of Brazil's 26 states in the coming days, said the federal police union.

The police force staged a 24-hour strike in several states last month demanding better salaries and career plans.

They had threatened to strike again during the World Cup if the government did not accept their demands - raising security concerns in a country that has faced violent protests in the build-up to the tournament and has one of the world's worst crime rates.

Brazil's military and civilian police forces have also gone on strike in several states in recent weeks.

In Salvador, a northeastern city that will host six World Cup matches, a wave of looting erupted during a military police strike on April 17 and 39 murders were reported in less than 48 hours.

Officials say 157,000 police and soldiers will provide security during the World Cup. The military will deploy 57,000 troops, including 21,000 on alert for emergency operations.

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