TOTAL crime volume rose in the first five months of 2014 from the corresponding period last year, figures released by the Philippine National Police (PNP) on Friday showed.
The PNP chief, Director General Alan Purisima, had been under fire for the upsurge of crimes in the past few months, giving rise to calls for his leaving office now instead of November next year when he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 56.
The figures released by the PNP showed a 17.86 percent increase in crime volume from January to end of May this year—from 245,347 incidents during the same period last year to 289,198 in 2014.
In a study, the PNP Directorate for Investigative and Detective Management said the crime rate has not been properly reported or recorded by authorities because of pressure on police chiefs to keep crime volume low and crime solution high.
The police chiefs, according to the study, are also pressured into maintaining a good image of the police in their areas.
Also, it said, police stations differ in counting crime incidents.
Moreover, traffic offenses are rarely reflected in crime statistics and cases involving women and minors are “under-counted.”
Crime reports do not include cases directly filed before the courts, reports of other law enforcement agencies are not considered and police support units do not submit crime statistics.
The study noted that unit commanders and investigators are given discretion to decide on including or excluding crime incidents in their report and that most police stations do not have official blue blotters for women and pink blotters for children.
Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara also on Friday urged the PNP to hire more policemen, saying the rising number of crimes is alarming.
According to the senator, the country needs around 200,000 more police officers in order to meet the ideal police-to-population ratio of 1:500. The average ratio at present is 1:645, but in some areas like Metro Manila, the police-to-population ratio stands at 1:1,000.
“I think the President should announce a massive policemen recruitment program in his second-to-the-last SONA (Statement of the Nation Address),” Angara said.
He noted that 1,033,833 crimes were reported to the police last year but this figure may just be a fraction of the total number of crimes.
“Understated the data may be, it still paints a scary picture: One is murdered every hour, a robbery is committed every 10 minutes, someone is raped every 72 minutes, a theft is happening every three and half minutes,” the senator said.
He proposed that 25,000 policemen be hired in 2015 and the same number in 2016.
With Jefferson Antiporda