Robbery cases drop but police on alert
ROBBERY cases in Cebu City dropped by almost half in the month of October, records of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) show.
CCPO Director, Senior Supt. Royina Garma said the 11 police precincts in Cebu City recorded a total of 34 cases, lower by 27 cases compared to the month of September which recorded 61 cases.
But as the holiday season nears, Garma said the police will intensify their patrols and police visibility considering that, statistically, robbery cases shoot up during the Christmas season.
In anticipation of increased criminality and following the recent robbery cases in the city, Councilor David Tumulak urged barangay officials to repair their CCTVs in order to deter crimes.
Kasambagan Barangay Captain Franklyn Ong, president of the Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) in Cebu City supported Tumulak's suggestion but said not all barangays will be able to afford the expense of putting up CCTV cameras.
“I really agree on Councilor Tumulak’s calls because we’re talking about the peace and order situation of our barangays. But not all barangays can afford to immediately put up CCTV cameras, or even repair ones that do not function anymore,” Ong said.
“There are two ways on operating CCTVs. One is doing realtime monitoring, and you have to have a command center with people manning it, like in Barangay Apas. Second is unmanned recording. The cameras will just record whatever they will capture. But both needed a huge budget for their implementation,” he added.
Ong, instead, suggested that barangay officials ask help from the private sector considering there is an ordinance mandating business establishments to install CCTV cameras.
“Maybe we could ask help from business establishments to not only install CCTVs inside their properties but also outside, and have the cameras face the streets, too. So when there are any reported crimes, we can ask the proprietors for a copy of the footage,” he said.
Cebu City Ordinance No. 2381 requires all business establishments, with annual gross sales of not less than P5-million, to install CCTV cameras around their premises for security reasons.
According to data from the CCPO, the Mabolo police precinct remains to have the highest number of robberies, with 11 cases, followed closely by the police precincts in Pari-an and Talamban with five and four cases respectively.
Garma said that CCPO will provide more equipment and deploy more police personnel to these stations in order to curb street crimes.
She also urged barangays to hire more tanods to serve as force multipliers in maintaining the peace and order of the city.
“Be vigilant. Do not provide opportunities for these robbers to attack. Follow your intuition. If you think that you are in danger, approach a police mobile and ask for help,” Garma advised the public.
Garma said that the death of taxi-driver Victorio Molina in Barangay Tisa, and the death of student Charie Mae Mancha in Barangay Tinago, who were both robbed prior to being shot, are indicators that robbers are no longer afraid to kill.
“Tulungan ninyo kami. Wag kayong maglakad na nakasuot ng maraming alahas.( Help us. Don’t walk around the city wearing flashy jewelries). Be aware of your surroundings and know the numbers of the police stations in the city,” she said.