By MAR S ARGUELLES
LEGAZPI CITY: The Legazpi City Peace and Order Council (CPOC) has expressed alarm over the rising number of crimes committed against persons and properties in this city.
This, while Albay topped the number of crimes reported against persons, followed by Naga City for the period January to June this year.
During the COCP’s meeting last Friday, Legazpi City Mayor Noel Rosal, CPOC chairperson, disclosed that the rising crime incidence prompted the council to pass a resolution requesting the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Bicol to beef up the number of police personnel assigned to maintain peace and order in the streets and other strategic corners of the city.
Rosal observed that as the city’s economic growth is moving in full throttle, the city’s crime rate as well have been noticeably increasing, causing alarm to residents, the business sector and potential investors.
Rosal at the same meeting stressed that Legazpi, known as the “convention city of Bicol,” is also considered as a tourist hub and one of the fast growing economies in the country where the maintenance of peace and order should be a priority concern.
Police Supt Roberto Morico II, city chief of police, told members of the CPOC that 769 crimes were recorded during the past three quarters of this year.
The figure is 26% higher compared to the 610 cases reported during the same period last year.
Morico said that of the total crime volume reported during the period January to September, 493 were crimes committed against persons and properties while 276 cases were non-index crimes.
For the nine-month period, topping the list of index crimes were physical injuries, theft, robbery, murder, and homicide.
Rosal lamented that only 55 cases of the total 769 crimes reported to the PNP were considered solved.
Morico when asked what may be the cause of the rising crime incidence, pointed to the apparent lack of police personnel assigned to patrol the city’s 70 barangays, 25 of which are in the outskirts of the city.
The police chief that of the city’s 182,000 residents, the city has only 144 policemen where the ideal ratio would have been 1:500, or policeman for every 500 residents.
In this case, Morico said the city needs over 200 more policemen to man at least five community police assistance centers in the city’s suburbs.
Meanwhile, PNP regional crime statistics indicate that some 10,105 crime incidences were reported by various police stations across Bicol during the period January to June this year.
The figure is 92% higher compared to the 5,267 crimes recorded during the same period last year.
Police Inspector Malu Calubaquid, PNP Bicol spokesperson, said that of the reported crime volume, 4,969 were crimes committed against persons and properties while 5,136 cases were non-index crimes.
For the six months period index crimes recorded were: Physical Injuries had the highest reported cases with 2,204 or 44%, followed by Theft with 1,604 cases or 32%, Robbery- 551 or 11%, murder – 212 or 45, rape- 196,homicide- 85, car-napping -83, and cattle rustling with 39 cases.
Albay province topped the list of crimes committed against persons with 1,361 cases followed by Naga City with 1,271 cases; CamSur, 806; Masbate, 706; CamNorte, 429; Sorsogon, 244; and Catanduanes, 145 cases.
Cases of murder are high in the province of Masbate with 75 cases, followed by CamSur, 48; Albay, 37; Sorsogon, 26; CamNorte, 19; Caranduanes, 7; and Naga City with three cases.
Provinces with high incidence of rape cases are Albay with 51 cases; Camarines Sur, 46; Sorsogon, 40; Catanduanes, 25; CamNorte, 19; Masbate, 13 ; and Naga City with two cases.
With more than 10,000 recorded crime committed in the first-half of this year, the PNP in Bicol reported 2,494 cases solved, or a crime solution efficiency rate of 25%, while 5,700 cases were considered cleared. – Bicol Mail