Crime rate down 16% in first 3 months of 2012 — PNP
In a statement, the PNP said data from its Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management (DIDM) department indicate a 16.77-percent decline in the Philippines' total crime volume recorded from January to March this year, compared to the country's crime record last year.
PNP spokesperson Chief Superintendent Agrimero Cruz Jr. said that "index crime incidents," which make up 61.14 percent of the total crime volume, dropped by 19.86 percent or 34, 043 cases from the 42,479 cases recorded during the first quarter of 2011.
He explained that index crime cases are the "valid indicators of the prevailing crime situation." He said among these are crimes against persons such as murder, homicide, physical injuries and rape; and crimes against property such as robbery, theft, carnapping and cattle-rustling.
Data from the PNP said crimes against persons declined by 20.24 percent, including a 4.75-percent decline in rape cases and a 20- to 25-percent drop in homicide and physical injury cases.
Crimes against property also reportedly posed "significant" drops: robbery (9.97 percent), theft (28.16 percent) and cattle-rustling (27.21 percent).
"The crime trend in [first quarter of] 2012 showed similar double-digit decline in crime against persons and crime against property compared with the previous year’s record for the same three-month period," said the PNP.
On the other hand, non-index crimes decreased by 11.40 percent or 21,637 cases in 2012 from 24,420 cases in 2011.
Cruz said that if this trend is an indication of the crime situation in the months ahead, the public can look forward to "an improved peace and order situation towards the rest of the year."
But aside from the reported decline in crime rates, the PNP's crime solution efficiency also rose by 8.54 percent during the first quarter of 2012.
The PNP said this improvement is due to the regular annual recruitment of police personnel that allowed them to increase police visibility and intensify their anti-criminality campaigns.
Cruz noted, however, that police operations must be focused more on crime prevention.
"Crime is not a runaway problem because the criminal justice system is fully functional and certainty of punishment has been fully established as an effective deterrent to crime," he said. — Kimberly Jane Tan/KBK, GMA News