SWS: Crime victimization drops to new record low but fears remain
VICTIMIZATION by property crimes in the past six months fell to a new low but fears of an unsafe neighborhood have increased, according to the latest survey by Social Weather Stations (SWS).
The second quarter survey, conducted from June 23 to 26, which was first published by newspapers Business World, found that 3.1 percent or an estimated 706,000 families have been victimized by street robbery, burglary (break-ins), or car theft in the past six months.
SWS said the latest figure was a new record-low, beating the previous 4.5 percent or estimated one million recorded in December 2016.
The poll result was also 3.2-percentage points lower than the 6.3 percent or an estimated 1.4 million registered in March 2017.
The survey saw 0.6 percent or an estimated 149,000 families hurt by physical violence in the past six months, similar to the 0.7 percent posted in September 2016 (estimated 162,000 families) and December 2016 (estimated 155,000 families).
The Filipinos who fell victims to common crimes was also at record-low of 3.7 percent or an estimated 840,000 families, lower by 1.2-percentage points from the previous record-low of 4.9 percent or 1.1 million families in December 2016 and 3.1-percentage points down by the 6.8 percent or 1.6 million families in March 2017.
SWS noted that crime victimization was at singledigit levels from March 2012 to June 2017.
Victims of street robbery during the past six months fell to a new record-low of 2.3 percent or 525,000 in June, three percentage points below than the 5.3 percent in March.
Around 1.1 percent or 260,000 families were victimized by burglars, a 0.8-percentage point drop from March’s 1.9 percent or 435,000 families
The survey showed 0.2 percent or 21,000 families owning any type of motor were robbed, down by 0.8-percentage point from one percent or 83,000 in March.
Despite the drop on crime victimization, public’s fear of burglary went up by four-percentage points to 59 percent in June from 56 percent last March. Fears of unsafe streets also rose to 52 percent from 50 percent in March.
Fear of many drug addicts, meanwhile, was down four-percentage points to 52 percent in June from 48 percent in March.
Fear of burglaries and unsafe streets went up across all geographic areas, except in Metro Manila, which both declined to three-percentage points (62 percent and 51 percent, respectively).
Families fearing burglaries rose by 11-percentage points in Mindanao (61 percent), two-percentage points in Visayas (50 percent), and one-percentage point in Balance Luzon (61 percent).
Families fearing unsafe streets fell two-percentage points in Balance Luzon (52 percent) but up by 13-percentage points in Mindanao (55 percent) and one-percentage point in Visayas (48 percent).
The presence of drug addicts fell by 11-percentage points in Manila (54 percent) and by nine-percentage points in Balance Luzon (48 percent).
It rose, however, by four percentage points in Mindanao (48 percent) and three percentage points in Visayas (43 percent).
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the government’s campaign against crimes and illegal drugs “has resulted in fewer robberies, less physical violence, less fear of being in public spaces.”
“Efforts ensuring public safety in the first year of the Duterte administration are yielding positive results,” Abella said.
“However, more needs to be accomplished in making sure that our streets, neighborhoods, and communities are kept permanently safe, not only within Metro Manila but also in the rest of the country,” he added.
SWS interviewed 1,200 respondents -- 300 each in Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
It used sampling error margins of ±3 percentage points for national percentages and ±6 percentage points for each of the said regions.