Crime victimization hits record low but fears rise: SWS

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 31 2017 09:44 AM

A gun is placed inside a plastic bag as police investigate around the bodies of 2 men killed in Manila, early October. Reuters

MANILA - The number of Filipinos who fell prey to crimes dropped to a record low during the first 6 months of the administration of President Duterte who ran on a platform of tough law enforcement, according to a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey released Tuesday.

Of 1,500 respondents surveyed between December 3 to 6, a new record-low of 4.5 percent said they lost property to either street robbery, break-ins or carjackers.

This surpassed the previous quarterly record of 5.5 percent victimization by property crimes in March and June 2015, and is 1.9 points down from September 2016’s 6.4 percent.

The new property crime reading, added to ratings in the 3 previous quarters, yielded an annual average of 5.5 percent for 2016, another record low that is 0.7 point lower than 2015's 6.2% percent

The December survey also saw those saying family members suffered from physical violence at 0.7 percent. That took the 2016 annual reading on victimization by physical violence to 0.8 percent, which barely moved from the record-low 0.7 percent in 2015.

All these readings led to a new quarterly record-low 4.9 percent, or equivalent to around 3.1 million families, who reported a brush with crimes -- 1.9 percentage points lower than September's 6.8 percent or 4.2 million families.

However, the 2016 annual crime victimization, which also covered the last 6 months of the previous administration was tallied at 8.2 percent -- 1.4 points higher than the 2015's 6.8 percent.
 
FEARS RISING

A boy arrives at the spot where his father was just killed in what police said was a drug buy-bust operation in Manila in October. One other suspect was killed in the operation. Damir Sagolj, Reuters

The survey also found 52% of respondents saying “there are already very many people addicted to banned drugs” in their neighborhoods, 4 points lower than September’s 56 percent.

The annual reading, however, was 56.3 percent, a new record-high that was 8 points higher than 2015’s 48.3 percent.

Meanwhile, those who feared that robbers might break into their homes hardly moved to 63 percent from September's 62 percent, although this yielded an annual average of 60.3 percent, 6 points higher that the 2015 annual average of 54.3 percent.

Similarly, those who felt that streets were not safe at night barely moved to 54 percent from 53 percent, though the annual average jumped 6.2 points from 44.3 percent to 50.5 percent.

GOVT 'WINNING' vs CRIME: PALACE

Malacañang said the survey indicates that the Duterte administration is making headway in its crackdown on criminality.

"The Fourth Quarter 2016 Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey shows that we are winning the fight against crimes and drugs." Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said in a text message to ABS-CBN News.

"The results of the survey give us the reassurance that we are on the right track in our anti-crime and anti-drug campaign and we are grateful for our people’s validation."

He also assured the public that the fight against crime and narcotics "would be relentless and sustained until the last day of the Duterte administration."

First published in BusinessWorld, the SWS survey had error margins of ±3% for national percentages, ±4% for “Balance Luzon,” and ±6% each for Metro Manila, the Visayas and Mindanao.