As the build up to Christmas begins, the Philippine National Police are bracing themselves for the traditional festive crimewave.
Every year, as the beginning of the so-called ‘ber’ months herald the premature arrival of the “season of peace and goodwill to all men” criminality also spikes across the Philippines.
Today (Tuesday, August 21), PNP Chief Director General assured the public that his officers would be extra vigilant as the holiday season looms.
He said: “Hopefully, the trend that crime rate usually goes up during the ‘ber’ months will be broken. For the past two years, this notion was gone,” he said.
A statement from the PNP said the ‘total crime volume’ in the two years from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2018 decreased by 20.4 per cent, compared to the same dates from 2014 to 2016. However, this claim did not include any actual numbers.
Meanwhile, the PNP said ‘index crimes’ decreased by 46.95 per cent after authorities recorded a total of 212,773 incidents from a high of 401,112 incidents in the same period.
Index crimes are those which are “sufficiently significant”, such as murder, homicide, robbery, theft, car-napping and physical injury.
During the so-called “ber” months – September, October, November and December — these crimes, particularly robbery and theft, see an increase.
However, Dr. Gen. Albayalde said he had issued a directive to all the ground commanders to intensify police interventions to keep the crime rates low.
“In the PNP, there are no such thing as -ber months. From the very beginning, the intensity of our operations during the regular days are just the same even during -ber months. We are not relaxed,” he said.
At about this time last year, former police chief Ronald dela Rosa issued a similar warning.
“That’s what we’re guarding right now,” he said. “We’ll maximise police visibility in the shopping malls and the public areas of convergence.
“When it’s the “ber” months, economic activity gets stronger. Money gets spent; everybody wants to enjoy, everybody wants to feel the spirit of Christmas and criminals take advantage of this.”
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