Theft cases highest among eight focus crimes – Cebu City police officer
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Philippines National Police (PNP) recorded a decrease of crime rate in the Philippines between January 1 to September 15, 2023.
In Cebu City, Police Lieutenant Colonel Janette Rafter, deputy director for operations of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO), said the minor decrease was a big accomplishment for the law enforcement officers.
She identified the eight focus crimes in a news forum on Tuesday, September 19.
These crimes were physical injuries, homicide, murder, robbery, theft, carnapping, motornapping, and rape.
Among these crimes, the CCPO considered theft incidents as the most number of cases recorded in Cebu City; however, she did not specify the figures.
Moreover, the most cases they have recorded in the increase of theft incidents are the cases on shoplifting.
Rafter said that this could be because of the emergence of the malls in the city unlike the previous years.
“After the pandemic, murag daghan na kaayo ang mga mall, daghan na kaayo tag commercial establishment sa Cebu City which is a very good indicator nga nindot ang ekonomiya despite the pandemic but it goes the crime with it,” she said.
(After the pandemic, it seems that there are so many malls, there are now so many commercial establishments in Cebu City, which is a very good indicator that our economy is getting better despite the pandemic but it goes the crime with it.)
Rafter said that they had already coordinated with the security mall officers to control the proliferation of the theft or shoplifting cases.
The number of cases of theft increased by more than 20-percent in the April to September 2023 period compared to the April to September 2023.
“But as we go on now, nakita na pod namo nga there is a downward trend because of our intervention especially with the innovation with the best practices implemented,” she said.
Central beat patrol system
Among the factors that contributed to the decrease of the crime rate is the central beat patrol system.
Through this patrol system, there are police personnel assigned in the theft-prone areas in the city, especially around Colon Street.
“We have established our police presence like the beat patrol in the crime-prone areas. Before, kini nga (these) areas of Cebu City are noted to [naay] manguot (have pickpockets), but we are glad to say that with the implementation of the central beat system, it has went down (theft),”
Moreover, based on the CCPO’s profiling on the suspects, Rafter said that most suspects were middle-aged and “able-bodied.”
They were able to profile the shoplifters because they went from one mall to another even in the nearby malls outside of Cebu City.
“We have an accomplishment in one of the biggest malls here in Cebu City. Because na profile nato ni sila, nadakpan gyud nato sila as a group (Because we have profiled them, we caught them as a group). That is also in coordination with our security mall officers,” she said.
According to her, the arrested shoplifters were not from Cebu City.
Salisi gang from Luzon
Last August 2, 2023, the police in Cebu City arrested five individuals for stealing from the mall goers.
The police later identified the suspects as members of the highly-operated salisi gang in Luzon.
The security mall guards were able to catch the suspects after the officers saw them on the CCTV.
Rafter said that their profiling became easier because the security mall officers could also profile the shoplifting suspects.
Furthermore, the police officer said that the malls in the city were among their beat patrol areas.
“Naay certain time nga ang atong mga patrollers or mga patrol cars (There is a certain time that our patrollers or the patrol cars) will really conduct patrol roving within that area,” she said.
Rafter added that these patrollers would have to stay there for a couple of minutes to observe and to coordinate with more security officers.
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