Saturday, July 16, 2016

Bicol police notes decrease in crime volume in 1st half of 2016
By Jorge Hallare

LEGAZPI CITY, July 15 (PNA) -— Records from the Police Regional Office 5 (PRO5) based in Camp Simeon Ola in this city showed a decrease in the volume of crimes committed during the first semester of this year compared to the same period last year.

Supt. Abelardo Borromeo, chief of Regional Operations and Plans Division or R3 of PRO5, made the disclosure during a regional consultation organized Wednesday by the National Police Commission in Bicol in this city, that was attended by representatives of various national government agencies, military, local government units and non-government organizations.

The Bicol police noted that “except for Naga City,” there was a “parallel and significant decrease in the comparative crime volume in most areas in the region during the first semester of 2016” compared to the same period last year.

Among the six Bicol provinces, Masbate recorded the highest percentage decrease in crime volume with a 34 percent decrease, down to 1,620 in this year compared to 2,443 last year.

This was followed by Camarines Norte with 25 percent decrease, down to 1,505 from 2,009; and Albay with a 17 percent decrease, down to 4,147 from 4,975.

According to Borromeo, the three other Bicol provinces with the least decrease in crime volume were Catanduanes with a 14 percent decrease, down to 704 from 814; Sorsogon with a 4.7 percent decrease, down to 881 from 925; and Camarines Sur with a 4.1 percent decrease, down to 6,288 from 6,558.

He said, however, the opposite trend is noted in Naga City in Camarines Sur, where there was a n11 percent increase in crime for the first semester this year compared to the same period last year, from a crime volume of 3,549 last year to 3,955 this year.

It could be noted that a recent buy-bust operation of lawmen, where 13 drug personalities were arrested, occurred in Purok Isla Sison, Barangay Penafrancia in Naga City. “Isla Sison” is included in the list of illegal drug hot spot areas in Naga City.

Borromeo added that a comparison of the crime index for the two periods showed that most of the crimes, which have decreased in number, were cases of theft, robbery and physical injury.

He said there was a 19 percent decrease in theft cases, down to 2,204 this year from 2,720 last year; 18 percent decrease in physical injury cases, down to 1,170 from 1,433; and 17 percent for robbery cases, down to 697 from 843.

Borromeo reported that the Bicol police suspected that the perpetrators in these cases were mostly involved in the illegal drugs problem and were part of over 10,000 surrenderees who responded to the authorities’ campaign to yield instead of fighting it out with lawmen.

In the Napolcom-sponsored forum, he told participants that the Bicol police recorded 10,483 drug personalities-surrenderees in the region over a two-week period, representing 10 percent of the total estimated number involved in the illegal drug trade, since the crackdown started when Duterte assumed office on June 30.

Authorities have launched “Oplan double barrel” that targeted both “high-value and street-level personalities” and Operation Tokhang a Visayan term that means knock and appeal) in neighborhoods known to be lairs of illegal drug syndicates. (PNA) LAP/GVR/JH/CBD