A Brazilian city’s murder rate has soared by 650 per cent with 52 homicides in just three days after police officers went on strike.

Military troops had to be deployed in the state of Espírito Santo after looting, rape and murders broke out on Saturday amid the industrial action.

The chaos has been compared to the 2014 thriller film The Purge, where people take advantage of the absence of law and order to carry out horrific crimes.

With officers staging a walk-out over conditions and wages, thugs are running riot, with people running rampant with guns and machetes, shops being robbed, buses set on fire and dead bodies are left lying in the street.

Protests by friends and family of military police officers in the coastal state ignited the crime wave and forced the shutdown of state services such as health centres and schools.

According to latest figures, there were 802 recorded murders in the state capital of Victoria in 2015.

This equates to just more than two a day.

In the last three days, since the strikes began, there have been 52 reported homicides, according to Plus 55.

The unprecedented surge in violence dwarfs the figures of the entire state, which has a population of 3.9million.