City crime rate down

Crime rates in 2016 decreased as compared to that of 2015, with a mid-2016 downtrend, it was reported during the City Human Rights, Justice, Peace and Order council (CHRJPOC) meeting last week at city hall.

The drop happened just after the assumption of office of President Rodrigo Duterte July of 2016, Baguio City Police Officer-In-Charge Ramil Saculles said.

In a comparative assessment, crime volume in 2015 was 8,217 while that of 2016 was 4,975 a decrease of 3,242 or 39.5%.

Monthly reports from January 2016 show 551 crimes commited, a spike of 600 crimes in February; and a gradual downtrend in July from 439 to 256 in December.

Index crimes; theft, physical injuries, robbery, carnapping and rape were down, but homicide and murder cases which are being investigated have increased, Saculles reported. Chair of the council Mayor Mauricio Domogan urged Saculles to conduct close follow-up on the said cases.

Violence against women and other special laws; which are non-index crimes have also decreased; but an increase in child abuse cases were noted.

Saculles attributed the rate to several police programs considered as best practices implemented by the BCPO such as Oplan Lambat-Sibat and oplan Kapkap, Tambuli, Cross-rider and added police visibility, Saculles explained. The night market at the central business district is also monitored by the police and force multipliers, it was known.

Lambat-Sibat, Saculles said, is intensified where there is increased crime clearance and solution efficiency, while Tambuli concentrates on the distribution of information and educational materials, and warning to the public through the public address system. Personnel are deployed during rush hour along the central business district, in identified chokepoints and major intersections.

Operation cross-rider, Saculles clarified, is police operations for motorcycle riders involved in criminal activities. It also involves simultaneous multiple checkpoints to seal entrance and exit points to and from Baguio City. The outer ring checkpoints are located along Long-long rd; Naguilian rd; Marcos highway; Kennon road; Kias; Tuding, Itogon; and Baguio–Viscaya road; while among those in the inner circumference are Aurora Hill; Pacdal; Legarda; Session road, and Magsaysay Avenue.

The accomplishment of the office, as with crime incidents at manageable level is due to the pro-active approach in crime-fighting, Saculles said, as he emphasized that the BCPO remains focused on the 19 barangays being drug-free.

The reports, Mayor Domogan said, are presented to the Regional Peace and Order Council.

The meeting was attended by representatives from the City Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), National Police Commission (NaPolCom), Philippine Information Agency (PIA), City Prosecutor’s Office, City Legal Office, City Administrator’s Office, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Vice-Mayor’s Office, City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) and other concerned offices. – juliegfianza