MANILA – Crimes in Metro Manila have been cut by about 50 percent and the Philippines National Police (PNP) attributes this to a more systemic approach to crime fighting.
PNP spokesperson Generoso Cerbo Jr. told reporters that from the 919 weekly average number of crime incidents recorded for the period of December 30, 2013 to June 15, 2014, the PNP saw a decline of about 51.9% to 442 incidents during the latest audit (February 23 to March 1).
The crimes involved in the weekly audit include robbery/theft, carjacking, and motorcycle theft.
Unveiled by Interior Secretary Manuel ''Mar'' Roxas II last year, Operation Plan: Lambat-Sibat aims to audit PNP's crime incident reports to identify which police stations are manipulating crime figures and determine the real situation on the ground.
The audit process entails police personnel from the PNP - Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management (DIDM) going to National Capital Region's 38 police stations to validate whether the data sent to the PNP headquarters in Camp Crame are accurate.
Roxas said having a clearer picture of the crime situation - in the form of hard figures - helps the PNP’s top leadership make decisions easier.
Auditing of crime reports also led to the creation of maps identifying crime "hotspots" or locations where certain crimes usually happen.
Roxas said under Operation Lambat-Sibat, 1,300 policemen - some of whom were previously doing clerical or administrative works in Camp Crame - were deployed to the field to do patrol work.
These 1,300 cops were deployed to areas covered by 15 police stations which reported the highest number of crimes, as reflected in the PNP’s audited records. They were told to man police checkpoints, serve arrest warrants, and take part in PNP’s “Oplan Bakal/Sita”, “Oplan Katok”, and “Oplan Bulabog”.
In the press briefing, Cerbo said the Lambat-Sibat operations netted 39 criminal personalities in the past two weeks, 7 of whom are members of criminal gangs.
He said given its success, Oplan: Lambat-Sibat will soon be implemented in Central Luzon. Studies are also ongoing on how it can be implemented in the Calabarzon region.