For the first quarter of 2019, Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6) recorded a 5.17 percent increase in total crime volume.
From 6,786 incidents in 2018, crimes reported to the police spiked to 7,131 in 2019.
But it should not be a cause for alarm.
Police Brigadier General John Bulalacao, Western Visayas police chief, clarified that the increase is attributed to the number of police operations in the enforcement of special laws.
In fact, index crimes (crimes against person and property) decreased by 28.08 percent. From 1,492 in the first quarter of 2018, it went down to only 1,073 cases this year.
These incidents include eight focus crimes such as murder, homicide, physical injury, rape, robbery, theft, and carnapping/ motorcycle theft.
This consistent decrease in the index crimes is an effect of the weekly review of anti-crime strategy, which is enhanced managing police operations, Bulalacao said.
Physical injury still topped the number of index crimes at 397; followed by theft (242), rape (127), murder (118), robbery (105), homicide (54), motornapping (27), and cattle rustling (3).
Meanwhile, the non-index crimes (violation of special laws like illegal drugs) contributed to the increase in total crime volume after a 770-case increase or 14.54 percent.
From 5,294 incidents in 2018, non-index crimes went up to 6,064 in 2019.
When we dissected the data, we learned that the increase in the non-index crimes was an effect of the increase in police-initiated operations and vehicular accidents, Bulalacao said.
The violation of special laws through police-initiated operations increased by 59.52 percent. From 353 police operations in 2018, it went up to 946 operations this year,
Operations against illegal drugs (from 312 to 435 operations), illegal gambling (from 132 to 257), and illegal possession of firearms (from 102 to 210) contributed to the increase in the number of non-index crimes.
Bulalacao said they would sustain its efforts in the police-initiated operations through enhanced managing police operations (EMPO) in a bid to maintain peace and order in Western Visayas.
We would do review of weekly accomplishments on the enforcement of special laws of the provinces, he said
The campaign to track down and arrest wanted persons will also continue.
All these efforts will be coupled with our advocacy activities and other initiatives based on the peculiarity on the crime environment of every police station, he said.