Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
 / Updated 

Police in the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo killed more people between January and September than they did during the same period for the past 10 years, including twice as many as the same period a year ago, according to recently released government data.

Sao Paulo's Public Safety Department said on its website that 478 people were killed in confrontations with police during the first nine months of this year, almost 100 percent more than 2013.

During the same time, 10 police officers were killed on duty, the lowest period in 10 years.

Jose Vicente da Silva, of the Center of Advanced Security Studies of the Sao Paulo police department said the all-or-nothing attitude by suspected criminals has largely contributed to the increase in the number of people killed.

"Rather than turn themselves in to the police, criminals prefer to open fire. This is what is causing the increase," da Silva told the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper. He did say however, it was a worrisome situation, "and prosecutors should investigate the legality of each case."

Demonstrators march through the Manguinhos favela to protest against police killings on August 22, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Every year, Brazil's police are responsible for around 2,000 deaths, one of the highest rates in the world. Many of the deaths in Rio involve blacks killed in favelas, also known as slums.Mario Tama / Getty Images

--The Associated Press