MANILA, Philippines – Is the government’s war on crime and illegal drugs working?
According to a 2nd quarter 2017 survey by the Social Weather Survey (SWS), less families reported being victims of common crime – pick-pocketing, robberies, car theft, or physical violence – in the last 6 months.
In the survey, released first through Business World, only 3.1% of respondents, representing roughly 706,000 families, reported being victims of property crimes.
It’s a 3.2-point drop from the 6.3% of respondents asked in 2017 and a 1.4-point drop from the previous record-low of 4.5% in December 2016.
Only 3.7%, meanwhile, reported being victims of common crimes. The figure represents roughly 840,000 families. It’s a 3.1-point drop from the 6.8% in March 2017 and a 1.2-point drop from the 4.9% reported in the December 2016 survey.
Respondents were asked this question, according to SWS:
Ngayon, nais po naming malaman ang karanasan ninyo at ng iba pang miyembro ng inyong pamilyang nakatira dito, tungkol sa krimen. Nitong nakaraang 6 buwan, kayo ba o kahit na sinong miyembro ng inyong pamilya ay naging biktima ng... (Pandurukot o pagnanakaw ng pansariling kagamitan; Pagpasok o break-in sa tahanan; Pagnanakaw ng kotse o sasakyang de motor o wala kayong sasakyang de motor; Pambubugbog, pananaksak o iba pang karahasan)? Kung OO: Ilang beses po?
[Now, we would also like to know your experiences and those of other family members residing here, regarding crime. In the past 6 months, have you or any member of your family been a victim of... (Pick-pocketing/robbery of personal property; Break-in at respondent’s residence; Carnapping or no motor vehicle; Physical violence)? IF YES: How many times?].
Conducted from June 23 to 26, 2017, the survey interviewed 1,200 adults nationwide. Three hundred individuals were interviewed in Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, respectively.
The survey had a margin of error of ±3% for national percentages, and ±6% for each of the island regions.
The survey also showed a drop in families reporting having members hurt by physical violence at 0.6%, following a trend since the September 2016 version of the survey.
The drop in self-reported instances of common crimes also followed a trend in the past years.
“The group noted further that, except in March 2013 when it was at 10.5%, victimization of families by any common crime was at single-digit levels from March 2012 to June 2017, with the new record-low of 3.7% last June,” said the Business World report on the survey.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) had earlier reported a drop in all crimes – save for murder and homicide – across the country during President Rodrigo Duterte’s first year.
Fear of crime
Less families from Metro Manila said they feared burglaries and unsafe streets, according to the survey.
In the country’s main mega city, 62% of those surveyed said they feared burglaries, a drop from the 65% in June 2017. The difference, however, is within the survey’s margin or error.
Fear of unsafe streets also dropped by the same number of percentage points, from 54% in March 2017 to 51% in June 2017. Again, this is within the survey’s margin of error.
In Balance Luzon, 61% of respondents said they feared burglaries compared to 60% in March 2017. The fear of unsafe streets fell by two percentage points – from 54% in March to 52% in June 2017.
The rest of the country, however, has a different story to tell.
In Mindanao, which has been placed under martial law since late May 2017, fear of burglaries rose by 11 percentage points, from 49% in March to 61% in June 2017.
Fear of unsafe streets likewise rose 13 percentage points, from 42% in March to 55% in June 2017.
The difference in the Mindanao numbers is beyond the margin of error for the survey.
In the Visayas, fear of burglaries rose 2 percentage points from 48% in March to 50% in June. Fear of unsafe streets rose by 1 point from 47% in march to 48% in June 2017. All differences are within the margin of error.
In Metro Manila, the reported presence of drug addicts fell by 11 percentage points, from 65% in March to 54% in June. Balance Luzon reported a drop of 9 percentage points, from 57% in March to 48% in June. The differences are outside the margin of error.
In Mindanao, 48% of those surveyed reported the presence of drug addicts, a 4 percentage point rise compared to the 44% in March 2017. It also rose in the Visayas, from 40% in March 2017 to 43% in June. The differences are within the margin of error, however.
Respondents were asked these questions, according to the SWS:
“Ngayon po, mayroon ako ritong mga statements o pangungusap na maaaring maglarawan sa nararamdaman o naiisip ng mga tao ngayon. Pakisabi po kung kayo ay sumasang-ayon o hindi sumasang-ayon sa mga statements o pangungusap na ito. Pakilagay lang po ang kard na may pangungusap sa naaangkop na lugar sa rating board na ito. (Lubos na sumasang-ayon, Medyo sumasang-ayon, Hindi tiyak kung sumasang-ayon o hindi sumasang-ayon, Medyo hindi sumasang-ayon, o Lubos na hindi sumasang-ayon)
[I have here some statements which may reflect how people feel or think about certain matters at present. Please tell me if you agree or disagree with these statements. You may indicate your answers by placing the card with the statement in the appropriate place on this rating board. (Strongly agree, somewhat agree, undecided if agree or disagree, somewhat disagree, or strongly disagree)]”:
Fear of burglary: “Sa lugar na ito, ang mga tao ay karaniwang natatakot na baka may mga magnanakaw na makakapasok sa loob ng kanilang tahanan (In this neighborhood, people are usually afraid that robbers might break into their houses).”
Fear of unsafe streets: “Sa lugar na ito, ang mga tao ay karaniwang natatakot maglakad sa kalye sa gabi dahil mapanganib (In this neighborhood, people are usually afraid to walk in the street at night because it is not safe).”
Many drug addicts in the area: “Sa lugar na ito, napakarami na ang mga taong naaadik sa mga ipinagbabawal na gamot (In this neighborhood there are already very many people addicted to banned drugs).”