1.7 million Filipino families victims of crimes in Q4 2017 – SWS

By Helen Flores

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The SWS poll, using face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults (18 years old and above) nationwide from Dec. 8 to 16, found 7.6 percent or 1.7 million families victimized by any of the common crimes, including violence, robbery, break-ins and car theft. STAR/Boy Santos

MANILA, Philippines — Due to the record-low 3.7 percent quarterly victimization rate in June last year, the resulting annual average victimization in any of the common crimes for 2017 was a record-low 6.1 percent, the Social Weather Stations (SWS) reported.

About 1.7 million families fell victim to violence and common crimes from October to December, according to the latest SWS survey, but the average victimization rate was 2.1 points below the 8.2 percent annual average in 2016 and 0.7 point below the previous record-low annual average of 6.8 percent in 2015.

The SWS poll, using face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults (18 years old and above) nationwide from Dec. 8 to 16, found 7.6 percent or 1.7 million families victimized by any of the common crimes, including violence, robbery, break-ins and car theft.

SWS noted that victimization by common crimes reported in SWS surveys was much higher than the number of crimes actually reported to the police.

Property crimes

An estimated 1.6 million families or 7.1 percent said they lost their property to street robbery (pickpocket or robbery of personal property), burglars (break-ins) or car theft in the fourth quarter of last year.

This was 1.3 points higher than the 5.8 percent – around 1.3 million – in September last year, the highest property crime rate since June 2016’s 10.9 percent.

However, the average property crime rate for last year was a record-low 5.6 percent, with the lowest 3.1 percent in June.

This was two points below the 7.6 percent average in 2016 and 0.6 point below the previous record-low annual average of 6.2 percent in 2015.

SWS said the proportion of families victimized by street robbery rose in the last two quarters of last year.

It increased from the record-low 2.3 percent (estimated 525,000) in June last year to 4.4 percent (around one million) in September, then increased to 4.6 percent (over one million) in December.

The survey also found an increasing proportion of families victimized by break-ins in the past two quarters.

Families victimized by break-ins rose from the record-low 1.1 percent (around 260,000) in June last year to 2.4 percent (estimated 542,000) in September, then went up by a point to 3.4 percent (about 790,000) in December.

The survey found that 1.2 percent (estimated 108,000) of families were victimized by car thieves in the past six months, up by a point from the 0.2 percent in June and September last year.

SWS said cases of street robberies fell in Mindanao and balance Luzon (areas in Luzon outside Mega Manila), but rose in Metro Manila and the Visayas.

Families robbed of their personal property outside their homes in the past six months fell by one point in Mindanao, from 3.7 percent in September to 2.7 percent in December last year.

It also fell in balance Luzon from four percent in September to 3.7 percent in December.

Victimization by street robbery, however, rose in the Visayas from four percent in September to five percent in December.

It also rose in Metro Manila from 7.3 percent in September to 10.3 percent in December.

Incidence of break-ins rose in Metro Manila, balance Luzon and the Visayas except in Mindanao.

Victimization by break-ins rose by 1.3 points in Metro Manila, from four percent in September to 5.3 percent in December.

It also increased in balance Luzon, from 1.7 percent in September to 3.3 percent in December.

Victims of break-ins likewise went up in the Visayas, from 1.7 percent in September to 3.7 percent in December, the highest since the 3.7 percent in June 2016.

However, in Mindanao, SWS found 2.3 percent of families victimized by break-ins, down by a point from 3.3 percent in September last year.

Car theft also rose in Metro Manila, the Visayas and balance Luzon while no case was reported in Mindanao.

For three consecutive quarters since June last year, none of the sample in Mindanao reported being victimized by car theft. It was 0.8 percent in March last year.

In contrast, car theft in Metro Manila rose from zero case in September to 1.1 percent in December.

Families victimized by car theft also rose in balance Luzon, from 0.4 percent in September last year to 1.5 percent in December.

It increased in the Visayas to 1.8 percent in December, after three consecutive quarters of zero reports from March to September.

Meanwhile, the same survey found 0.8 percent or an estimated 188,000 families with members hurt by physical violence within the past six months.

This was 0.3 point above the 0.5 percent (around 115,000) in September last year, and the highest since the 0.9 percent in June 2016.

Physical violence

Cases of physical violence rose in the Visayas, Mindanao and Metro Manila, but dropped in balance Luzon.

Families with any member hurt from physical violence in the past six months fell in balance Luzon, from 0.5 percent in September last year to 0.3 percent in December. It has been decreasing for two quarters since it rose to 0.7 percent in June last year.

Victimization by physical violence rose by 0.4 point in the Visayas from 0.3 percent in September to 0.7 percent in December.

It rose by 0.7 point in Mindanao, from 0.3 percent in September to one percent in December.

In Metro Manila, it rose from one percent in September to 2.3 percent in December, the highest since the 2.7 percent in March 2014.

Meanwhile, the SWS poll found almost six in 10 Filipino adults or 57 percent who said the safety of their family “is better now” compared to six months ago.

It said 36 percent claimed it is the “same as before,” and six percent said it “is worse now.”

Compared to September last year, those who said their family safety is “better now” increased by seven points from 50 percent; those who said it is the same as before was unchanged from 36 percent; and those who said is worse now decreased by eight points from 14 percent.

SWS said safety of family improved across all areas.

The proportion of those who said their family safety is better now compared to six months ago was highest in Mindanao at 71 percent (from 64 percent), followed by Metro Manila at 63 percent (from 53 percent), the Visayas at 59 percent (48 percent) and balance Luzon at 47 percent (from 43 percent). 

The Philippine National Police (PNP) attributed the decrease in the number of victims to common crimes, as reported by SWS, to the government’s war on illegal drugs.

PNP spokesman Chief Supt. John Bulalacao said criminal activities have declined significantly since President Duterte launched his crackdown on illegal drugs when he assumed office in 2016.

“There was a notable decrease in the crime incidents in the country and we have to relate this to the anti-drug campaign,” Bulalacao said yesterday in an interview with reporters in Camp Crame.

Duterte’s drug war has so far claimed the lives of 3,987 suspected drug pushers and users from what police have said were legitimate operations. – Emmanuel Tupas

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