SWS survey shows crime down but fear remains

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PROPERTY CRIMES and victimization by common crimes fell to a record low of 3.1% and 3.7%, respectively, whereas physical violence was at a steady 0.6% in the past six months, according to the Social Weather Stations’ (SWS) Second Quarter 2017 Social Weather Survey.

The survey was conducted from June 23 to 26, using face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults (18 years old and above) nationwide, 300 each in Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao (with sampling error margins of ±3% for national percentages, and ±6% for each of the said regions).

The survey found a record-low 3.1% (or an estimated 706,000) of families losing property to street robbery, burglars (break-ins), or carnappers within the past six months. “This is 3.2 points below the 6.3% (est. 1.4 million) in [March] 2017, and is 1.4 points below the previous record-low 4.5% (est. 1.0 million) in December 2016,” SWS said.

The survey also found 0.6% (est. 149,000) of families with members hurt by physical violence within the past six months, similar to 0.7% (est. 155,000) in March, 0.7% (est. 166,000) in December last year, and 0.7% (est. 162,000) in September last year, the polling group said.

“This yields a record-low 3.7% (est. 840,000) of families reporting victimization by any of the common crimes. This is 3.1 points below the 6.8% (est. 1.6 million) in March 2017, and is 1.2 points lower than the previous record-low of 4.9% (est. 1.1 million) in December 2016,” SWS added.

The group noted further that, except in March 2013 when it was at 10.5%, victimization of families by any common crime was at single-digit levels from March 2012 to June 2017, with the new record-low of 3.7% last June.

STREET ROBBERY, BREAK-INS
The survey found a 3-point decrease of families victimized by street robbery during the past six months, from 5.3% (est. 1.2 million) in March to a new record-low 2.3% (est. 525,000) in June. This is 1 point below the previous record-low 3.3% (est. 754,000) in December last year, SWS noted.

The survey also found 1.1% (est. 260,000) of families victimized by break-ins, 0.8 points below the 1.9% (est. 435,000) in March.

Of families owning any type of motor vehicle, the survey found that 0.2% (est. 21,000) were robbed of it in the past six months, down by 0.8 points from 1% (est. 83,000) in March.

Families robbed of their personal property outside their homes in the past six months fell by 7.7 points in Metro Manila, from 12% in March 2017 to a new record low of 4.3% in June 2017. SWS said this surpassed the previous record low of 6.7% in March 2000, June 2015, and December 2016.

Quarterly victimization by street robbery fell by 3 points in Balance Luzon, from 4.3% in March to 1.3% in June.

It fell by 1.7 points in the Visayas, from 4.7% in March to 3% in June; and by 1.3 points in Mindanao, from 3.7% in March to 2.3% in June.

In Mindanao, the survey did not find any case of families victimized by break-ins — which were down from 2.3% in March, surpassing the previous record low of 0.7% in September 2007 and June 2008 for this area.

Quarterly victimization by break-ins fell by 0.7 points in Balance Luzon, from 1.7% in March to 1% in June.

It remained steady in Metro Manila at 3.7% last March and June.

However, it rose by 0.3 points in the Visayas, from 0.7% in March to 1% in June.

Families with any member hurt from physical violence in the past six months fell by 0.7 points in the Visayas, from 1.0% in March to 0.3% in June.

Quarterly victimization by physical violence in Metro Manila fell by 0.3 points from 1.3% in March 2017 to 1% in June.

It was unchanged in Mindanao, having been at 0.7% since December 2016. No incidences of physical violence were found in the Mindanao sample in September 2016.

FEAR OF CRIMES
Except for Metro Manila and, also in terms of fear of unsafe streets, Balance Luzon, fear of burglaries and unsafe streets has risen elsewhere, according to the survey.

Families fearing burglaries fell by 3 points in Metro Manila, from 65% in March to 62% in June, the survey said.

However, it rose by 11 points in Mindanao, from 49% in March to 61% in June, and rose by 2 points in the Visayas, from 48% in March to 50% in June.

It also rose by 1 point in Balance Luzon, from 60% in March to 61% in June.

Families fearing unsafe streets fell by 3 points in Metro Manila, from 54% in March to 51% in June.

It also fell by 2 points in Balance Luzon, from 54% in March to 52% in June. However, it rose by 13 points in Mindanao, from 42% in March to 55% in June

It rose by 1 point in the Visayas, from 47% in March to 48% in June.

DRUG ADDICTS, CARNAPPING
The presence of drug addicts fell by 11 points in Metro Manila, from 65% in March to 54% in June. It fell by 9 points in Balance Luzon, from 57% in March to 48% in June.

However, it rose by 4 points in Mindanao, from 44% in March to 48% in June. It also rose by 3 points in the Visayas, from 40% in March to 43% in June.

Vehicle-owning families who experienced carnapping fell by 1.4 points in Metro Manila, from 3.4% in March to 2% in June.

The June 2017 sample had no case of carnapping in the Visayas. Except for the 0.8% in December 2016, there have been no case in the Visayas sample since April 2016.

The sample also had no case of carnapping in Balance Luzon. It fell from 0.9% in March to zero in June. Prior to the 0.9% in March, there were no cases of carnapping in the Balance Luzon sample for three consecutive quarters in 2016.

There was also no case of carnapping in the Mindanao sample in June 2017, down from 0.8% in March.

Since 1989, SWS has been asking respondents of each quarterly survey whether any household member became a victim of street robbery, home break-in, or violence in the past six months.

SWS said it added motor vehicle theft to its list of crimes specifically monitored, beginning 1992.

The polling group also noted that victimization by common crimes reported in its surveys is much higher than the number of crimes actually reported to the police.

Sought for comment, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto C. Abella said “the government’s successful campaign against crimes and illegal drugs continues to be felt by our people.”

“Indeed much more progress has been achieved in ensuring public safety in the first year of the Duterte administration; however, much more needs to be done, especially in making sure that our streets, neighborhoods, and communities are kept permanently safe, not only within Metro Manila but also in the rest of the country,” he added.

Ramon C. Casiple, Executive Director of Institute for Political and Electoral Reform said in a text message that although “there are too many variables involved to have judgment, the anti-drug campaign seems to impact on the general peace and order situation.”

“However, there is not much significance in the figures cited, either negative or positive,” he added. — Rosemarie A. Zamora



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