The public’s greater confidence on reporting crimes to the police is seen as the reason that there was a slight increase in the recorded number of Filipinos who fell victim to crimes over the past three months, said the Philippine National Police (PNP) last Sunday.
PNP chief, Director General Oscar Albayalde said in a statement that they “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.”
However, he adds that “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,” as he recognizes that this increase in crime rate can also be attributed to the holiday season, when certain “seasonal” crime types become more prevalent.
This statement is a response to the results of the Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey on crime victimization for Q3 of 2018, which suggests that 6.1% of the population, or 1.4 million Filipinos, were directly affected by crime from July to September this year. According to the survey, common crimes include pickpocketing and robbery of personal property, break-ins, carnapping, and physical violence.
Albayalde explains that these numbers remain at manageable levels and should not be any cause for concern, as he notes that it is an improvement from the 6.6% recorded in Q1 of 2018 (1.5 million Filipinos), as well as the 11.4% recorded in Q2 of 2016.
Data shows that for 2018, from 6.6% in Q1, reported crime fell further to 5.4% (1.2 million Filipinos), before rising again to 6.1% in Q3.
Total Crime Volume actually decreased in 2018, compared to 2017
Albayalde further explains that in their analysis of the national crime environment, the 10-month Total Crime Volume for January to October 2018 actually decreased by 13.06% compared to the same period in 2017.
He adds that the SWS survey conducted last Sept. 15-23, 2018 also showed an improvement in the feeling of safety and security of citizens against property crimes like burglary, whose rate fell 52% in September from June 2018’s 55%.
Meanwhile, the fear of being victimized by street crimes remained the same for March and June of 2018, at 46%.
PNP to strengthen operations during holiday season
The PNP Chief said that in order to break this cycle, they will be reinforcing their operations against street crime and other forms of seasonal criminal activity during the holidays, including non-contact crime committed through cyberspace and telecommunication platforms, which is recently becoming a notorious form of crime against property.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that Filipinos felt safer because of the strides taken by the Duterte Administration in fighting crime and illegal drugs; however, he says that these results do not mean complacency, as President Duterte plans to continue his campaign against criminality and illegal narcotics until the last day of his term.