CEBU CITY – The three Visayas regions have seen a decrease in crime rates as some of the localities have been put to community quarantine amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV) said.
In a statement Thursday, OPAV, quoting top police officials in the western, central, and eastern Visayas regions, said Covid-19 lockdowns helped bring down crime incidence.
It quoted Police Regional Office-7 chief, Brig. Gen. Albert Ignatius Ferro, as saying the crime rate in Central Visayas went down by at least 58 percent.
“Compared to last year, we have a better crime situation now compared to pre-Covid, probably because of our continuous implementation of quarantine measures, 24/7 checkpoints and aggressive efforts of our police personnel,” said Ferro, who was a guest at the Mugstoria Ta, a virtual conversation hosted by OPAV Assistant Secretary Jonji Gonzales on Thursday.
Ferro said authorities here are hoping that the low crime rate could be sustained, adding that the secret of it is strong collaboration with the community.
He vowed to continue enforcing the law even with Covid-19.
Ferro said the PRO-7 recorded a total of 108.5 kilograms of seized shabu, 1.1 tons of marijuana, and thousands of illegal firearms recovered and arrested a total of 5,864 wanted criminals and 21 drug peddlers.
In Western Visayas, PRO-6 Deputy Regional Director for Operations, Col. Ross Alvarado said crime incidence in the region plunged 28 percent from 21,890 to 15,599 in the first 10 months of 2020.
PRO-6 had conducted a total of 1,234 operations, leading to the arrest of 1,698 individuals and the death of seven drug personalities.
The regional police’s internal security operations had also resulted in the surrender of a total of 48 communist members, arrest of 47 personalities, confiscation of 41 illegal firearms confiscated and neutralization of four communist members.
Brig. Gen. Ronaldo de Jesus, PRO-8 (Eastern Visayas) chief, also echoed the observation of Ferro and Alvarado, saying the declining crime rate is one of the positive impacts of the coronavirus crisis.
In Region 8, crime against persons declined by 31 percent, while crime against properties went down by 60 percent.
Traffic incidents in the region also declined by 40 percent, de Jesus said. (PNA)