War against crime

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By Godofredo M. Roperos

Politics also

Monday, April 21, 2014


WHAT seems to be a most challenging situation the Philippines’ contemporary social condition faces today is the rise of criminality that defy even the increased sophistication of the technology that our crime fighters employ. Recent efforts to combat the rise in criminality have resulted in innovative proposals. One of these that appears viable and truly worth trying is the use of closed circuit television (CCTV) in public buses.

The purpose is to protect those who commute daily to and from the office, or from shopping or marketing, or in relation to social obligations in the larger community.

The proposal made by a Metro Manila legislator makes installation of CCTV or surveillance cameras in public utility buses (PUB) mandatory in order for the operators “to detect real- time situation on the bus.”

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In Metro Cebu where a similar condition as in Metro Manila also exists, the proposed utilization and installation of this particularly advanced technology to preempt the occurrence of crime inside buses can be adopted. This will enable the bus operators themselves to alert the police or any law enforcement authorities regarding lawless elements that ride the bus.

It has been observed by the commuting public themselves that criminality in public utility vehicles is simply narrowed down to the ones against persons, such as holdups, picking of pockets and simple robbery.

Of course, these crimes can be committed in broad day light but under different circumstances. The pickpockets welcome thickly crowded streets or gathering but not sparsely crowded areas. Holduppers and thieves would shun the crowd.

But we are straying away from the original proposal to install CCTVs in PUBs, to reduce the risk of being collectively held-up while traveling, which is a rather bright idea.

It would certainly curtail the particular crime against the commuting public who are already quite poor enough to belong to the thousands of urban dwellers who endure commuting daily and facing the risk of traffic accidents, a risk that has also gone up as public mobility rose.

Likewise, the Police Regional Office 7 (PRO) 7 is reportedly planning to create a task force that will address crimes in Metro Cebu. While the proposal of a Parañaque solon, Eric Olivares, envisions a nationwide coverage, this one from PRO 7 law enforcers has only the Metro Cebu area in mind.

But it is, to me, a welcome proposal even if it will only take care of the “big crime groups” in Metro Cebu, such as those against banks.

PRO 7 directorial staff head, Senior Supt. Edward Carranza, based his proposal from the idea of the Cebu Bankers Club during a recent monthly meeting. This plan, I think, is a typical result of community leaders who open communication lines between and among themselves with purely cooperation for the common public good in mind.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 22, 2014.

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