Cebu police taps ‘bystanders’ in combating crimes

Cebu police taps ‘bystanders’ in combating crimes

CEBU CITY – The regional police here will make Cebu a pilot province on a new method of combating criminalities this time utilizing “bystanders” and “street people” in crime reporting and prevention.

Lt. Col. Mark Gifter Sucalit, deputy chief for operations of the Cebu Provincial Police Office, said the director, Col. Rommel Ochave, has directed municipal and city station commanders to implement Active Bystandership for Effective Response and Intervention (ABERIN) Program of the Police Regional Office (PRO)-Central Visayas.

The program aims to maximize the presence of people hanging around the streets to report occurring crimes.

Bystanders, he explained, would have a huge participation in sustaining peace and order in every community, stressing that they are the first to witness when crimes unfold and eventually report them to the authorities.

Once become well-organized, Sucalit said drivers of “habal-habal”, tricycles and pedicabs, vendors and ordinary people who spend most of their time on the streets could be the best allies of the police in preventing crimes.

“In our daily grind, the police are not even the first to know if a crime happens. The bystanders and even strangers are,” Sucalit said in Cebuano.

Meanwhile, financial institutions in Cebu will also be placed in another anti-crime program that would equip personnel and security guards to detect criminals fast.

“We are giving them ideas to detect the usual behavior of criminals so that they can immediately report their presence. In our early engagement, we learn that they (personnel and security guards) don’t even know the contact number of the nearest police station,” Sucalit added.

The ABERIN program was introduced by Brig. Gen. Anthony Aberin during the Holy Week when they sought the help of bystanders securing churches and religious sights, especially in detecting and reporting suspicious individuals. (PNA)

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