Crime down by 47% since March — Eleazar
THE Philippine National Police has recorded a 47 percent nationwide crime volume reduction since the government declared strict quarantine measures to help arrest the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus over the past six months, Joint Task Force COVID Shield commander, Lieutenant General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar announced yesterday.
The official said that during the period March to September 15, there has been a nearly 50 percent decrease in the country’s crime volume compared to the crime statistics during the period September 15, 2019 to last March 16. In the wake of the great reduction in crime volume, PNP chief General Camilo Pancratius P. Cascolan has ordered all police commanders across the country to sustain their police visibility and beat patrols and constantly coordinate with barangay officials in their areas to ensure intensified peace and order measures down to the community level.
Lt. Gen. Eleazar said from a total of 31,661 Eight Focus Crimes recorded by the PNP from September 15, 2019, to March 16, 2020, the figure went down to only 16,879 from March 17 to September 16 this year.
He explained that the decline in the criminal incidents in the country translates to an average of 92 cases per day during the six-month community quarantine period compared to an average of 172 cases per day during the six-month pre-quarantine period.
“We have been conducting analysis of the crime situation in the past six months in order to identify the best practices and security adjustments that we could replicate in other areas and eventually institutionalized in order to sustain this momentum,” the official, also the PNP Deputy Chief for Administration, said.
The Eight Focus Crime of the PNP consists of murder, homicide, physical injury, rape, robbery, theft and theft of motor vehicles and motorcycles.
Eleazar also disclosed that during the implementation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), criminal incidents went down by 61 percent across the country.
Despite the economic difficulties brought by the coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the official said that there was a significant decline in what the PNP classifies as Crimes Against Property under the Eight Focus Crimes —robbery, theft and carnapping.
For robbery, he said that they recorded a decline of 61 percent—or from 4,807 cases from September 15, 2019, to March 16, 2020 to only 1,867. For theft cases, a decrease of 60 percent was noted or from 10,553 to only 4,228.
“The big decrease in cases of robbery and theft, along with zero report of looting, refutes speculations before that there would be an upsurge in crime against property and looting due to economic difficulties,” said Eleazar.
While theft of motorcycles was considered common before, the cases went down by 66 percent, actually the biggest decline recorded among the Eight Focus Crimes— during the six-month quarantine period, or from 2,013 to only 693.
Theft of motor vehicles or cars, SUVs and pick-ups on the other hand went down by 61 percent during the period or from 218 to merely 86.
Eleazar also debunked reports that there have been a rise in cases of murder and rape during the six-month quarantine period specifically in the past days.
He said that JTF COVID Shield data will belie the reports.
For cases of murder, it went down from 3,197 during the six-month pre-quarantine period to 2,509 during the six-month quarantine period, or a decrease of 22 percent. On the other hand, rape cases went down by 24 percent or from 4,580 to 3,446
Eleazar added that cases of homicide also went down by 25 percent or from 819 to 612 while cases of physical injury went down by 38 percent or from 5,474 to 3,418.
DECLINE OF ALREADY REDUCED CRIME INCIDENTS
Eleazar said it is the Visayas Region which experienced the biggest decline in crime incidents with a 50 percent reduction, or from 8,116 to 4,035. This translates to only 22 criminal incidents a day compared to 44 cases during the six-month pre-quarantine period, he said.
For Luzon, he said the average daily crime was reduced from 91 per day to 49 per day, or a reduction of 46 percent from 16,781 cases recorded during the pre-quarantine period to 9,046 during the quarantine period.
Mindanao recorded a 44 percent decline, or from 6,764 cases to 3,798 cases, or an average of 21 crimes a day compared to 37 per day before.
“We would like to point out that the criminal incidents have been consistently declining in the past four years, or since our Commander-In-Chief Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte assumed the presidency in July 2016,” he said.
“Further reducing the already declined criminal incidents by 47 percent is a big accomplishment that would benefit the Filipino people. That is why we intend to keep this way by conducting analysis of our strategies in order to institutionalize the best practices in our peace and order strategy,” the official added.