The Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) reported a combined rate of 77.3 percent in its crime clearance and solution efficiency when it came to shooting incidents in the city this year, from Jan. 1 to June 19. The CCPO recorded 44 shooting incidents—of which 24 were murder cases.

Investigators have considered 16 of the shooting incidents as cleared and the other 18 as solved.

A case is considered cleared when at least one of the culprits has been identified; there is sufficient evidence to charge the suspect; and, he has been charged before the prosecutor’s office or any other court of appropriate jurisdiction.

For a case to be considered solved, the culprit must have been arrested and a complaint must have been filed against him. A case is also considered solved if only one of the multiple offenders has been arrested and has been charged before the prosecutor’s office.

In actuality, the CCPO’s crime clearance efficiency from Jan. 1 to June 19 is only 36.4 percent; its crime solution efficiency is only 40.9 percent.

If the efficiency rate is below 50 percent, it cannot really be considered efficient.

The CCPO, according to news reports, was unable to provide the data on shooting incidents in the same period of the previous year. Its spokesperson also refused to label the shooting incidents as alarming.

Who would be alarmed when homicide cases happen almost every day? People seem to not care when they hear on radio and read from newspapers or social media feeds stories about shooting incidents, including murders, and other crimes.

It would be better for the CCPO and other police units to work on how to minimize (as prevention is far from reality) shooting incidents in the future. This could be done by constantly conducting checkpoints, going after illegal firearms, and checking on gun owners whose licenses for keeping/carrying firearms have expired.

Police clearing or solving a crime means that a crime has happened—and there has been a victim.