Crime victims fewer but more people fear for safety – SWS

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THERE were fewer crime victims in the past six months but fear of being victimized have increased, the latest survey of the Social Weather Stations (SWS) showed.

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The fourth quarter survey, conducted from December 3 to 6 last year, showed that 4.5 percent of the 1,500 respondents which is equivalent to 2.8 million families said they were victims of robbery, burglary or car theft.

The latest score surpassed the previous quarterly record of 5.5 percent victimization by property crimes in March and June 2015, and is 1.9 points lower than September 2016’s 6.4 percent.

The new property crime reading, when added to ratings in the three previous quarters, yielded an annual average of 5.5 percent for 2016, another record low. It is 0.7 point lower than the 6.2 percent recorded in 2015.

The December survey also showed an increase of people whose family members suffered from physical violence at 0.7 percent. That took the 2016 annual reading on victimization by physical violence to 0.8 percent, which barely moved from the record-low 0.7 percent in 2015.

These figures led to a new quarterly record-low 4.9 percent, or equivalent to around 3.1 million families, who reported a brush with crimes — 1.9 percentage points lower than September’s 6.8 percent or 4.2 million families.

However, the 2016 annual crime victimization, which also covered the last six months of the previous administration, was tallied at 8.2 percent — 1.4 points higher than 2015’s 6.8 percent.

Fears rising

The same survey also found 52 percent of respondents saying “there are already very many people addicted to banned drugs” in their neighborhoods, four points lower than September’s 56 percent.

The annual reading, however, was 56.3 percent, a new record-high that was eight points higher than 2015’s 48.3 percent.

Meanwhile, the number of those who feared that robbers may break into their homes increased by just one percent to 63 percent from September’s 62 percent, although this yielded an annual average of 60.3 percent, six points higher than the 2015 annual average of 54.3 percent.

Similarly, those who felt that streets were not safe at night also increased from 53 percent to 54 percent, though the annual average jumped 6.2 points from 44.3 percent to 50.5 percent.

The survey, which was first published in BusinessWorld on Tuesday, had an error margin ±3% for national percentages, ±4% for “Balance Luzon,” and ±6% each for Metro Manila, the Visayas and Mindanao.

Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar welcomed the survey results, which he said indicated that the Duterte administration is “winning the fight against crimes and drugs.”

“The results of the survey give us the reassurance that we are on the right track in our anti-crime and anti-drug campaign and we are grateful for our people’s validation,” Andanar said in a statement.

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