THE police reported a slight increase in the total crime volume in Central Visayas from January to August this year compared to the same period last year, which they say is due to the result of their operations against illegal drugs and loose firearms.
Based on the presentation of Senior Superintendent Rey Lyndon Lawas, acting directorial staff chief of the Police Regional Office (PRO)-Central Visayas, the total crime volume (TCV) in the region from January to August 2015 was 63,159.
Lawas presented the peace and order situation of the region during the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) meeting at the Capitol Social Hall on Wednesday.
Of the 63,159 crimes recorded, 42,812 were recorded in the police blotter while the rest were recorded in the barangays and other law enforcement agencies.
The TCV recorded in the police blotter is 6.5 percent higher compared to the 40,193 TCV in the same period in 2014.
Lawas also reported that index crime volume decreased by 9.3 percent this year, but non-index crime volume went up by 17.7 percent.
Index crimes, or crimes committed against persons and properties, dropped from 16,621 in the first seven months of 2014 to 15,077 in the same period this year.
“It shall be noted that the considerable increase in the crime volume for the year 2015 can be attributed to the non-index crimes, which are plainly based on the result of the operation of police units in the area,” Lawas said.
Non-index crimes are the result of police-initiated operations to enforce special laws, such as those on illegal drugs, gambling, loose firearms, and the environment.
From January to August 2015, Lawas said the PRO-Central Visayas conducted 1,840 operations against illegal drugs resulting to the arrest of 2,536 persons.
Some P148 million worth of marijuana and shabu were seized during the operations, as estimated by the Dangerous Drugs Board.
As to the campaign against loose firearms, PRO arrested 1,940 persons, confiscated 1,884 firearms and filed 1,826 cases in court.
The crime volume is based on the records of the provincial police offices of Cebu, Bohol, Negros and Siquijor and the police offices of highly-urbanized cities of Cebu, Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue.
According to the consolidated drug situationer report of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)-Central Visaysa Director Jeffrey Bangsa, shabu is the widely used illegal drug in Central Visayas.
At least 50 barangays in the region are “seriously affected” by the proliferation of drugs, he said.
Bangsa identified seaports, airports, mail and parcel system and coastline as the critical entry points of illegal drugs in the region.
He said these drugs are usually concealed in milk boxes, Chinese tea bags, shampoo bottles, sandals, cellphone chargers and secret compartments of luggage and bags.
PDEA has conducted 58 operations, arrested 58 persons and seized almost 3,000 grams of shabu and thousands of marijuana plants and seedlings from April to August this year.
“The government lacks x-ray machines at the airports and seaports to determine the entry and exit of illegal drugs to and from the country. In view of the foregoing, the PDEA, PNP and airport authorities rely on K9 dogs,” Bangsa said.