LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The police have recorded an 82.39 percent drop in Benguet province’s crime rate from March 16 to August 17 compared to the same period last year.
Benguet Police Director, Col. Elmer Ragay, said on Tuesday that the number of crimes declined to only 175 cases over the five months, compared to the 994 cases logged in the same period in 2019.
Index crimes totaled 21 from mid-March to mid-August, 90.58 percent less than the 223 recorded in the same months last year, while non-index crimes totaled 154, marking an 80.03 percent decrease from 771 in the same period last year.
“We are able to focus at least 70 percent of our manpower, mobility, financial, and other resources to the fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic,” Ragay said, adding that police personnel in the province juggle their anti-criminality duties with fighting Covid-19.
Benguet’s crime clearance efficiency also rose to 98.29 percent this year from 79.68 percent last year, while its crime solution efficiency stands at 86.29 percent, higher than last year’s 73.94 percent.
He said alcohol-related incidents remained at the top of the crime incidents, resulting in physical injuries and vehicular traffic accidents.
“It has been very ideal. Never in our wildest imagination that we would see crime statistics (as) low as what we have right now,” Ragay said, attributing it to people staying in their homes and the presence of police personnel on the streets.
“Your policemen are 24/7 outside, on the streets, which serves as a deterrent (to) criminals,” he said, adding that criminal minds still attempted to execute their acts despite the community quarantine.
Ragay also reported that 55 anti-illegal drug operations were conducted over the period, resulting in the arrest of 57 persons and confiscation of illegal drugs, such as marijuana and shabu, valued at PHP17.4 million.
A total of 87 wanted persons were also nabbed during the five-month period.
He said they continue to implement the campaign against loose firearms, forest protection, and anti-illegal gambling.
Meanwhile, Ragay said 15 policemen in Benguet have contracted Covid-19, six of whom are assigned at the provincial police and nine at various police units, such as the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.
“Lahat sila gumaling na (They have all recovered from the illness),” he said. Liza Agoot / PNA – northboundasia.com