Crime volume drops by 41% in first half of 2018
posted 6-Aug-2018  ·  
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Continuing a trend, crime incidence in the province of Catanduanes fell by 41 percent  for the first six months of 2018 compared to the same period last year, the Philippine National Police reported last week.

Meeting with the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) Catanduanes chapter headed by San Andres Mayor Peter Cua at Camp Francisco Camacho last Friday (July 27), Catanduanes Police Provincial Director Senior Superintendent Felix Servita Jr. disclosed that crime volume for the first half of the year totaled 580 incidents, a decrease of 242 from the 822 incidents recorded in the first semester of 2017.

He attributed the significant decline to the different initiatives undertaken by the police in cooperation with the local government units and so-called “force multipliers.” These, he said, include the continuous conduct of checkpoints, barangay and school visitations accompanied by the distribution of IEC materials, police visibility and the monthly monitoring of motorcycle spare parts shops.

PD Servita explained that to address an increase in motorcycle theft, he directed police units to monitor the shops to ensure that the spare parts they are selling come from legitimate sources and not from chop-chop shops where stolen motorcycle are often brought.

Index crimes, which are serious incidents like murder, homicide, serious and less serious physical injury, carnapping, theft and rape, also diminished by 6.67 percent from 192 in 2017 to 180 in the first half of the current year.

While there was a slight increase in murder and homicide, rape and physical injury cases fell by a combined 17 incidents.

Crimes against property, except for “motornapping” which doubled from just 8 in the first half of 2017 to 17 this year, stayed almost the same. All “motornapping” cases this year have either been solved, with the suspects identified, or cleared, with charges filed in court.

Of the 18 robbery cases recorded this year so far, four are considered solved while five were cleared.

On the other hand, majority of the 66 theft incidents occurred in the capital town of Virac with 45 reported cases while three towns – Bagamanoc, Baras and Panganiban – did not have a single incident.

As a result, the Catanduanes police reported, crime solution efficiency increased to 34.44%, compared to the 29.17% recorded last year. Crime clearance efficiency also improved from 40.62% to this year’s 48.89%.

The continuous effort of the local police to resolve crime incidents with the active participation of the community has made a great impact in the resolution of the cases, PD Servita bared, along with the backtracking of unsolved cases.

Non-index crimes, including the violation of special laws, drug cases and traffic incidents, also dropped by a huge 57.8 percent from 630 in the first half of 2017 to just 400 this year, with traffic incidents totaling 159.

Five of the traffic mishaps resulted in death, 61 in physical injury and 93 in damage to property, the report stated. Virac, with its numerous vehicles and motorists, accounted for the bulk of the accidents with 119.

Non-index crime solution efficiency climbed to 52 percent from just 48& in 2017.

The command proudly pointed out that no shooting incident has been reported in the island so far this year.

Aside from Mayor Cua, the other LMP members present during the meeting were Bato Mayor Eulogio Rodriguez, Gigmoto Mayor Armando Guerrero, Baras Mayor Chito Chi and Caramoran Mayor Agnes Popa.

In their last meeting, the local chief executives decided to express to the Catanduanes police their concern regarding their personal safety after a string of murders targeting mayors and vice mayors.

Of the five mayors present, only Mayor Guerrero has been involved in a shooting incident when his house was attacked by alleged communist rebels in 2004. He survived by escaping down a steep incline at the back of his house despite being hit twice. The Gigmoto mayor’s escorts were recalled to headquarters last month, prompting the LMP to schedule the dialogue with the director.

PD Servita advised the local execs, who are entitled to two police escorts, not to follow a predictable pattern of movement, adding that the police has continued implementing strict traffic checkpoints to deter riding-in-tandem criminals or hired assassins.

“Always observe your surroundings and be security-conscious,” he said.

He also reminded them to beware of a scam in which a man calls the mayor, telling him he has been targeted for assassination but as he is kind, the hit team will be sent back to the Visayas, with the man asking for travel money of as much as P20,000.

Baras Mayor Chi complained of the uncompleted police station built on a lot donated by the LGU, with the construction apparently halted by the contractor. PD Servita explained that the regional office is looking for another contractor after the first one abandoned the project after getting initial payment.

On Chi’s request that pulled-out policemen should be replaced, the police superintendent admitted that most police stations are currently undermanned. He said that to temporarily relieve the shortage, personnel of the two mobile force companies have been detailed at the stations while awaiting the arrival of new police recruits from the mainland. In recent batches of new policemen, he bared, native Catandunganons have numbered at least 50 each, compared to a few applicants several years ago before a local college offered a criminology course.

On the other hand, Mayor Guerrero asked the police to dig deeper into the unsolved rape-murder of a woman in his town two years ago. PD Servita assured that it will be included in their case review.

Concerning the communist insurgency, he assured the mayors that compared to last year, there have been few sightings of armed men, mostly local recruits.

In case they were to venture into far-flung areas, the chief executives should coordinate with their respective chiefs of police to send an advance party to secure the area.

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