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Police in the crime-ridden streets of the Brazilian city of Taubate have hired a Batman impersonator to help steer youngsters away from drug problems.

The man behind the mask is 50-year-old Andre Luiz Pinheiro, a retired police officer who now dresses as the comic book hero to lecture children on the perils of drug trafficking.

Pinheiro was officially presented to the residents of Taubate, a city where the murder rate is 12 times higher than London.

"I will not actually battle crime. But I do think I am fighting crime in a preventative way by helping these children to avoid becoming criminals. This is my job, this is my battle," Pinheiro said.

Police captain Warley Takeo said the measure would bring long-term benefits.

"Police act in favour of good and the state works in favour of good through the police, and since Batman is also a character who works in favour of good, we decided to join efforts to prevent children from becoming criminals," he told the Telegarph.

The exploits of Pinheiro follows Slovak Batman Zoltan Kohari who took it upon himself to protect his hometown of Dunajska Streda in Slovakia dressed in his home-made Batman costume.

Self-appointed Batman Protects Slovakian Town [SLIDESHOW]