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The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Thursday cited public cooperation and support as key factors behind the significant decline in traditional crime trend under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

PNP chief, Gen. Archie Gamboa noted that crime data from the Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management showed the national Total Crime Volume dropped by 34.45 percent from 58,705 cases from February 1 to March 16 to only 38,484 cases from March 17 to April 30 during the ECQ.

“If this trend can be sustained under the new normal when the ECQ shall have been eventually downgraded, we can look forward to better days ahead with less crime and lesser fear of crime,” he said in a statement.

Cases of index crimes or serious crimes, that make up only 8.8 percent of the Total Crime Volume, registered a 60.49-percent decrease or 4,087 fewer cases over the same pre-ECQ and ECQ periods — from 6,756 cases from February 1 to March 16, down to only 2,669 cases from March 17 to April 30.

PNP spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac, meanwhile, said index crime cases are more accurate indicators of the crime situation that comprise the eight focus crimes of murder, homicide, physical injury, robbery, theft, vehicle theft, motorcycle theft, and rape.

“It should be more interesting to note that carnapping of motor vehicles and carnapping of motorcycles both registered the highest rates of decrease at 87.5 and 81.84 percent, respectively; while the perennially high incidents of robbery and theft dropped 64.16 percent and 67.89 percent, respectively, under the ECQ,” Banac said.

He added that the traditional crime landscape drastically shifted to violations of ECQ guidelines, which are mostly non-index crime cases; and digital crimes through the use of access devices and cyberspace to commit fraud, estafa, extortion, trafficking in persons, child abuse; and circulation of disinformation and fake news.

Non-index crime or less serious crimes comprise 91.92 percent of the Total Crime Volume.

Banac, however, said these are not accurate indicators of the total prevailing crime situation but merely reflects the effectiveness of police operations in the enforcement of special laws, statutes and local ordinances.

He said based on the PNP’s assessment, the new crime trend under ECQ can be attributed primarily to the prevailing favorable environment that provides crime deterrence due to restricted movement of people, stay-at-home quarantine protocol, increased presence of law enforcement and force multipliers, liquor ban in some local government units, and swift government response to the health crisis.

Law enforcement front-liners lauded

Meanwhile, the Joint Task Force Corona Virus Shield (JTF CV Shield) commended front-liners of law enforcement agencies for a successful 50-day period of implementation of the ECQ since March 17.

“On behalf of our Chief PNP, General Archie Gamboa, we would like to salute our law enforcers on the ground for doing their job well and express our gratitude to the local government units for helping law enforcers in enforcing the ECQ Guidelines,” Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, JTF CV Shield commander, said in a statement.

Eleazar added that this proves they are doing everything to help win the war against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) “through containing the unnecessary movement of people”.

A total of 162,723 violators were recorded across the country from March 17 to May 5, as thousands of quarantine control points for people and private vehicles and dedicated control points for cargo vehicles were set up and police visibility was intensified in communities.

Based on PNP data, Luzon has the most number of violators accosted with 103,303. Most of those arrested in Luzon are from Metro Manila, Central Luzon and Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon).

In Metro Manila, a total of 48,885 violators were accosted while a total of 22,684 violators were apprehended in Calabarzon and,18,143 in Central Luzon.

“The violators accosted from these three regions were accounted as 87 percent of the total number of violators arrested in Luzon,” said Eleazar. (PNA)

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