The slight increase in the number of Filipinos who fell victim to crimes over the past three months can be attributed to the public’s confidence to report these incidents to the police, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Sunday.
“Overall, we take this empirical measure of public perception of experience with crime as an indication of greater feeling of safety from crime and subsequently lesser fear of crime,” PNP chief, Director General Oscar Albayalde said in a statement.
“The third quarter (Q3) rate of crime victimization serves to remind our people to remain vigilant, and for us in law enforcement to double our efforts,” he added.
Albayalde added that this can also be attributed to the holiday season when certain crime types which are “seasonal” in terms of frequency become more prevalent.
The PNP chief was reacting to the results of the Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey on crime victimization during the third quarter of 2018 which suggest that crime directly affected 6.1 percent of the population, representing 1.4 million Filipinos from July to September this year.
“This number is, in fact, an improvement from the 6.6 percent crime victimization rate posted in the first quarter from January thru March 2018 and the double-digit 11.4 percent from April to June 2016,” Albayalde said, adding that the current numbers remain at manageable levels and should not be any cause of concern.
It can be recalled that the rate of crime victimization during the first quarter of 2018 was at 6.6 percent of the population, representing 1.5 million persons. The second quarter data dipped further to 5.4 percent with an estimated 1.2-million crime victims, only to rise again to 6.1 percent in the 3rd quarter.
“In our analysis of the national crime environment, 10-month Total Crime Volume decreased 13.06 percent in January thru October 2018 as compared with the Total Crime Volume during the same period in 2017,” the PNP chief explained.
He added the same SWS survey conducted on Sept. 15-23, 2018 also showed an improvement in the feeling of safety and security of citizens against property crimes like burglary — from 55 percent in June 2018 to 52 percent in September 2018.
Meanwhile, fear of being victimized by street crimes remains the same at 46 percent. This is the same as in March and June 2018, and the lowest since 42 percent in April 2016.
To break this cycle, Albayalde said the PNP is reinforcing operations against street crime and other forms of criminal activity that are prevalent during the holiday season, including non-contact crime committed through cyberspace and telecommunication platforms which is fast becoming a notorious form of crime against property.
According to the survey conducted on Sept. 15 to 23, common crimes include pickpocket or robbery of personal property, break-ins, carnapping, and physical violence.
This figure is 0.7 higher than the 5.3 percent or estimated 1.2 million families in June 2018, and identical to the 6.1 percent in September 2017.
On Saturday, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo cited how Filipinos felt safer because the Duterte administration has taken strides to fight crime and illegal drugs.
However, Panelo said the survey results do not mean that the administration will be complacent.
He said Duterte’s campaign against criminality and illegal narcotics will be pursued until the last day of his term. (PNA/Christopher Lloyd Caliwan)