More Filipinos fell victim to common crimes in the first quarter of 2017, according to the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.
The poll conducted from March 25 to 28 showed that 6.8 percent of the respondents were victims of common crimes, up from the 4.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016.
Those who lost property to street robbery, burglars or car thieves were up 6.3 percent or an estimated 1.4 million families. The figure was 1.8 points higher than the 4.5 percent in December 2016.
There was a slight drop in the number of victims of physical violence — 0.7 percent or 155,000 families — compared with the 166,000 families in December.
The SWS said there were more crimes reported in its survey than to the police.
Families victimized by street robbers were up by two points, from 3.3 percent in December last year to 5.3 percent, while those who said burglars broke into their homes were 1.9 percent or 435,000 higher than the 1.8 percent recorded last year.
Car theft also rose to 3.4 percent in Metro Manila, the highest since the 3.5 percent reported in September 2014.
Families robbed of personal property outside their homes also increased by 5.3 points in Metro Manila to 12 percent compared with 6.7 percent in December, the survey said.
“This is the highest since 13.7 percent in April 2016,” SWS said.
Meanwhile, fear of crimes fell by seven points from 63 percent in December 2016 to 56 percent in March.
SWS reported that 50 percent of the respondents agreed that “people are usually afraid to walk in the street at night because it is not safe” in their neighborhood, down four points from the 54 percent in December last year.
Fear of unsafe streets fell in the Visayas and Mindanao by 11 and nine points, respectively.
The number of respondents who said there are “many” drug addicts in their neighborhoods was at a steady “high” of 52 percent.
Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella attributed the increase in crime incidents to the suspension of the administration’s war on drugs.
Abella said the SWS survey “validates earlier reports showing an increase in crime after the Philippine National Police (PNP) suspended Oplan Tokhang and Project Double Barrel last January.”
“The temporary suspension of police anti-drug operations proved to be a window of opportunity for illegal drug violators to engage in burglary and car theft,” he added.