CCPO chief says Fuente Police shaved 708 cases from 2013 crime stats

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Monday, May 19, 2014


FUENTE Police Station, now known as Station 2, failed to include 708 crimes in the crime statistics report for the first half of 2013.

Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) Director Noli Romana said the undeclared cases were discovered during a revalidation of crime figures in all police stations.

Romana had investigators’ books checked to determine the actual number of crimes reported from January to August 2013.

He said the under-declaration was meant to make it appear that crime incidence has declined.

He said the result of the revalidation shows that there is no significant difference in crime rate between first quarter 2013 and 2014.

The CCPO earlier reported 2,605 crimes in the first quarter of 2013 and 3,232 for the same period this year.

Investigation

Romana said he will investigate who was the station head of Fuente Police at that time and if he was liable for the discrepancy.

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama earlier warned CCPO to improve its efficiency after receiving the report that the crime increased this year.

City Hall gave police officials a chance to present what they need to prevent crimes and improve their efficiency in solving cases.

Romana told the City Council in an executive session yesterday that the CCPO needs more radios, vehicles and personnel, among others.

Romana told the council that not all 1,149 police personnel have radios so some policemen communicate with each other through mobile phones.

Romana said CCPO only has nine vehicles used during patrols and in responding to alarms. This, he said, may be the reason why police visibility is low, a concern that Councilor Margarita Osmeña raised.

“With a large area, di nabibisita masyado yung ibang lugar (we cannot be everywhere),” Romana said.

But he said some policemen conduct regular foot patrols in several locations of the city.

Romana also told the council that CCPO has not had enough personnel for a long time.

He said the ideal police-to-population ratio is supposed to be one policeman for every 500 residents. But the actual ratio is one is to 1,120.

Tanods

To address the problem, some barangay captains recommended that the Cebu City Government empower tanods.

Binaliw Barangay Captain Wilson Bacor said during the executive session that the City should issue firearms to the barangay tanods.

“Daghang tanod mahadlok mangdakop kay ang dakponon armasan man sad (Most tanods are afraid to arrest suspects who are armed),” he said. He added that with enough support from City Hall, barangay tanods would be able to help address crimes.

San Jose Barangay Captain Joventino Ardaba shared Bacor’s sentiments.

Vehicles

But aside from giving firearms, Ardaba said the City should give vehicles to the police stations so they can immediately respond to emergencies.

He cited the Talamban Police Station, which has only one vehicle but covers several mountain villages in the city.

Osmeña, chairperson of the council's committee on budget and finance, said the City has set aside almost P60 million for the CCPO under this year's P5.89 billion budget.

The bulk of which, however, covers the cash incentives to the police. Each policemen receives P4,000 per month for the City, P8,000 for the CCPO director and P7,000 for the assistant city director.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 20, 2014.

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