More people are having greater confidence to report crime to the police, the reason why the number of people who claimed to have been victimized by criminals went up in the third quarter of this year.
Another reason, according to statement of the Philippine National Police (PNP), is the holiday season when crimes against property such as robbery and theft usually increase.
“There are certain crime types that are ‘seasonal’ in terms of frequency which become more prevalent when the element of opportunity is present such as during the Holiday season when the objects of crime abound,” the statement read.
This, however, runs counter to the statement of Director General Oscar Albayalde, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), that they have not monitored the usual increase in crime rate during ‘ber’ months at least in the past two years.
Earlier, a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey on crime victimization during the third quarter of this year stated that some 1.4-million Filipinos were victimized by criminals, or an increase from 5.4 percent in the second quarter of this year to 6.1 percent.
But Albayalde said the entire picture of the crime rate, as well as the past surveys, should be considered.
He explained that during the first quarter of this year, or from January to March this year, some 6.6-percent crime victimization was posted which represents some 1.5-million Filipinos.
But on the second quarter, or from April to June, it went down to 5.4 percent, or an estimated 1.2 -million Filipinos.
In total, Albayalde said there was a significant decrease in the crime rate if the data on first 10 months of this year would be factored in. The PNP leadership would usually attribute the decrease in the crime rate to the successful conduct of anti-drugs operations.
“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,” said Albayade.
He added, the same SWS Survey conducted on September 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.
Fear of being victimized by street crimes remains the same at 46 percent, according to the PNP data. The figure was the same in March and June 2018, and the lowest since the 42 percent in April 2016, according to the PNP data.
“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,” said Albayalde.
“The slight increase in the number of Filipinos who fell victims to crime over the past three months can be attributed to the holiday season and a greater confidence of citizens to report crime to the police,” the statement read.
But Albayalde said they take the increase in the crime victimization as another challenge to improve their anti-crime strategy.
“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.
To break the cycle, Albayalde said they are reinforcing focused police operations against street crime and other forms of criminal activity that are prevalent during the holiday season.
“These include noncontact crime committed through cyberspace and telecommunication platforms which is fast becoming a notorious form of crime against property,” said Albayalde. (Manila Bulletin)