CEBU Province was relatively peaceful in the first five months of 2018 compared to the same period last year.

Based on the records kept by the police, murder incidents dropped by 29.52 percent in January to May compared to the figures from the same period in 2017.

Supt. Ismael Gauna of the Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) said they recorded 74 murder cases, a decrease of 31 incidents from 105 last year.

He, however, noted a slight increase in homicide cases that totaled 20, three more cases from 17 incidents recorded in 2017.

Guna reported that their crime solution efficiency (CSE) increased to 78.68 percent this year from 69.1 last year. A case is considered solved once a suspect is identified and arrested, and a case is filed against him.

Their crime clearance efficiency (CCE) this year, on the other hand, increased to 84.3 percent from 2017’s 76.85 percent. A case is considered cleared once a suspect has been identified, though not yet arrested or booked.

The index crimes, meanwhile, dropped by 28.85 percent, while non-index crimes decreased by 11.97 percent.

Non-index crimes are the results of police-initiated operations to enforce special laws, such as those on illegal drugs, gambling, loose firearms, and the environment.

Murder and homicide are included in the index crimes, or those committed against persons and properties.

Aside from murder, other index crimes like motorcycle and vehicle thefts, physical injuries, rape, robbery and theft also dropped.

The total crime volume in the province from January to May 2017 totaled 7,025. It dropped by 15.84 percent or 5,912 incidents in the same period this year.

The total number of index crimes from January to May in 2017 totaled to 1,612. For the same period in 2018, police recorded 1,147 index crimes, or a drop of 28.85 percent.

As for non-index crimes, 5,413 were recorded in the first five months of last year and only 4,765 were recorded in the same period this year, or a decrease of 11.97 percent.

CPPO Director Senior Supt. Manuel Javier Abrugena said the province was “generally peaceful” in the first quarter of 2018.

He attributed the decrease of crime volume to checkpoints, mobile patrols, police officers’ interactions with communities and anti-criminality operations.

The crime statistics were shown to the journalists covering the police beat during the first media day of CPPO under Abrugena last Thursday. The Task Force Cebu personnel led by Col. Noel Baluyan were also present.

Last week, Police Regional Office 7 Director Chief Supt. Debold Sinas said they will abide if President Rodrigo Duterte will issue an order instructing police officials to replace local chief executives who failed to lower crime incidents in their respective areas.