Private citizens wanted as crime-busters – PNP

By Caroline Howard, ANC

Posted at Sep 02 2012 06:30 PM | Updated as of Sep 03 2012 02:30 AM

 MANILA, Philippines - On Monday, September 3, The Philippine National Police (PNP) will kick off the 18th National Crime Prevention Week.

Dubbed "Sa Crime Prevention, May Magagawa Ako!, " the event will focus on having a more empowered citizenry.

Top PNP, Department of Interior and Local Government and National Police Commission officials are expected to attend the kick-off ceremony at Camp Crame.

In an interview on ANC's "Dateline Philippines,” PNP spokesperson Jun Cerbo said they are implementing various strategies under the Police Integrated Crime Prevention System. These include improved intelligence and investigative capabilities and increased police visibility and patrols in crime prone areas.

"We are implementing various strategies-- crime prevention programs, and secondly, we are conducting preemptive measures to account, neutralize personalities we believe are involved in illegal activities...the launching of intelligence operations to identify and locate them and make them pay for their crimes."

"We are also enhancing our investigative capability... Lastly, we have our police-community relations operations…to motivate [the general public] and organize civilian groups to help us in our crime prevention programs to create broad united front against criminality."

Cerbo revealed the PNP is planning to increase the police population, as part of efforts to beef-up security in the country.

"For this year, the PNP is planning to recruit an additional 8,000 new police nationwide, and right now we are in the process of processing 6,000 new recruits," he said. "Some are undergoing training. With that, we can improve the police to population ratio and that will redound to improved police service to out countrymen."

Crime prevention

Concerned groups agreed the current police-population ratio is not enough. Most often than not, barangay officials are also ill-equipped to fight crime.

"The problem is they lack self-defense training, they are afraid to confront criminals...That's why the (barangay) tanods are clamoring for carrying arms. But training will be sufficient. We have neglected that aspect. We need more training in self-defense," said Archie Organo of the Pugadlawin Foundation, a socio-civic organization helping in crime prevention.

"In some cases, force multipliers are not sufficient to cover large areas. We're trying to increase the number of policemen, to catch up with the ideal ratio of 1 is to 500," added Mon Santiago, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority consultant for public safety.

Crime awareness campaign

"We need to do more awareness campaign on the part of private citizens," Organo added.

"In terms of crime prevention, it’s really starting from ordinary household and individuals where we become a more security- and safety-conscious public," Santiago added. "This more proactive stance in the neighborhood will help in crime prevention or crime solution."

Organo added they are also taking steps to involve students in the fight against crime.

"We'll be mobilizing students, we'll activate student crime prevention committees and apply the use of technology specially SMS. We're meeting with student councils during the celebrations and invite experts,” he said.