Police: Crimes up 45% due to power outages

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Thursday, May 8, 2014


DAVAO CITY Police Office (DCPO) director Sr. Supt. Vicente D. Danao Jr. on Wednesday said crime incidents have increased by almost 45 percent in the first quarter of 2014 as compared to the same period last year due to rotational brownouts that started in February.

The DCPO recorded an average of 58 crime incidents committed daily during the first three months of the year, as compared to 2013's average of 32 crime incidents everyday.

Danao said from January to March 12 of 2014, their office recorded a total of 4,114 crime incidents, of which 2,673 are index crimes and 1,441 were non-index. He added that 1,608 incidents were solved and 1,694 were cleared.

The index crimes are violations against persons and properties, while the non-index crimes are violations of special laws such as illegal drugs, city ordinances, violence against women and children, and gambling, among the others.

"[In terms of crime against property] I admit na nagtaas talaga ang crime against property around 20 percent," Danao revealed during the AFP/PNP press conference at The Royal Mandaya Hotel Wednesday.

Danao was alarmed by the ongoing rotational brownouts in Davao City. He said that crime against property, which topped the list of common crime incidents here with over a thousand cases, has become rampant as some individuals take advantage of the brownouts.

He added, "Hindi lang siguro sa Davao City but also to other areas [that has been experiencing power interruption]. If you're going to check some of the theft and robbery incidents here, that's the time na brownout doon sa pinangyarihan," Danao said.

The length of the scheduled rotating brownouts went up to six hours from one to two hours in February. As of May 7, the Davao Light has forced to increase the length of its scheduled rotating brownouts from six hours to 7.5 hours.

According to the National Power Corporation (NPC), through the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), the agency has further reduced the power supply allocation of Davao Light from 120 megawatts to 102 megawatts starting May 7.

He added that even the closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras could do nothing when robbery or theft strikes during brownout.

"Zero visibility. Wala ka naman kasing makikita sa dilim maliban nalang dun sa mga may generators. Even if 10 meters lang ang layo nung tao galing sayo hindi mo yan makikita kung madilim. That's our problem, if we're going to compare first quarter to second quarter, tumaas ang crime incidents lalo na ang crime against property," Danao said.

Danao also said that one of the reasons of the rampant theft and robbery incidents is due to scarcity. He said with the recent calamities in the country, such as Typhoon Pablo, Typhoon Yolanda, and the biggest fire incident in Boulevard in Davao City, many do not have jobs.

"You have to remember na marami sa kanila ay walang hanapbuhay although I'm not accusing or blaming them. But that could be one factor. Kaya nga we’re trying to maximize the prevention of the crime. Kahit nga ako nag-iikot," he added.

Security measures

Danao said the police are doing their best to curb the criminalities in the city, particularly crime against property. He added that he reminded his police personnel to maximize police visibility, and 24/7 mobile and foot patrol.

Danao, on the other hand, warned the 12 police station commanders to focus on solving the crime incidents or else they will be relieved from their posts.

Task Force Davao (TFD) commander Colonel Casiano Monilla also echoed the same. He added that aside from the 24/7 foot and mobile patrols and random checkpoints particularly in all entry and exit points of Davao City, they will also conduct a motorcycle patrol composed of 17 TFD members.

"We are increasing our motorcycle patrols. If we are going to recall, nag hire din si mayor (Rodrigo R. Duterte) ng additional force multipliers to help us curb the crime incidents. We have these motorcycle teams," Monilla said.

Monilla added that they will deploy one company to assist the DCPO in enforcing security peace and order in the city.

Monilla also assured that even though the authorities haven't monitored any threat here, they will still heighten security measures.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on May 08, 2014.

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