NEGROS Occidental has topped the list of having the most number of arrested wanted persons in Western Visayas in 2021, a report from the Police Regional Office (PRO) showed.

Of the 5,751 persons with warrants of arrest who were accounted in the region last year, 2,667 or almost 46.4 percent are from Negros Occidental, the PRO-Western Visayas reported.

It added that out of the total number of individuals with arrest warrants who were accounted for by the police in the province, 287 are considered most wanted.

The highly-urbanized city of Bacolod, meanwhile, logged a total of 608 apprehended individuals with arrest warrants and 97 of them are considered most wanted persons.

PRO-Western Visayas, in a statement, stressed that the total arrested wanted persons in 2021 is 1,381 or 31.6 percent higher compared to 2020 with only 4,370.

PRO-Western Visayas Director Brigadier General Flynn Dongbo commended all unit commanders and tracker teams for the "untiring and dedicated efforts in locating and bringing behind bars these wanted persons."

Dongbo also warned other wanted personalities in the region that they could not escape the "long arm of the law" forever.

As to crime incidents, he reported that the number of infractions committed against the law last year has reduced by 18.45 percent compared to the year 2020.

PRO-Western Visayas records further showed that there were only 17,710 total crime incidents, while there were 21,718 in 2021.

Negros Occidental recorded 3,552 crime incidents while its capital city had 1,384.

The eight focus crimes being closely monitored include murder, homicide, physical injury, rape, robbery, theft, carnapping, and motor vehicle and motorcycle theft.

Dongbo attributed the reduced number of crimes to the regular conduct of Enhanced Managing Police Operations of all concerned units, untiring support of the different local government units, barangay officials, force multipliers, and Philippine National Police advocacy support groups.