Most crimes down but murder up in QC | Inquirer News

Most crimes down but murder up in QC

Police chief says war on drugs played a big role in both the increase in killings and decline in 7 other offenses
/ 05:04 AM March 05, 2018

From the start of President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration in July 2016 up to February this year, Quezon City saw a 44.2-percent dip in crime, according to the police.

However, while the average rate among other “focused crimes” like homicide, theft and physical injuries went down in Metro Manila’s most populous city, murders rose by a whopping 60.7 percent from 361 to 580 cases during the same period.

Between November 2014 and June 2016, a total of 17,305 crimes were recorded among the eight focus categories compared to 9,652 from July 2016 to last month, based on the data of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD).


Link between drugs, crimes


Chief Supt. Guillermo Eleazar, who became QCPD director in July 2016, told the Inquirer on Sunday that the war on illegal drugs played a big role in the data — not only in the overall decrease in crime but also in the higher murder rate.

“Our focus was illegal drugs and we saw that somehow, all the focused crimes were related to involvement in drugs,” Eleazar said, citing as examples thefts or robberies committed to fund the drug trade and cases of rape perpetrated by drug-frenzied suspects.

However, criminals took advantage of the environment created by the early days of the antidrug campaign which “got complicated,” he explained.

“There were scalawag cops with alleged involvement in drugs [who] neutralized coconspirators. There were syndicates targeting other syndicates,” Eleazar said.

“There were other criminals who joined in, not necessarily because of drugs, but they [committed] crimes and [allowed these to] simply be charged to the drug war,” he added.

Focused crimes refer to two types: crimes against persons (murder, homicide, rape, physical injury) and crimes against property (theft, robbery, car and motorcycle theft).


Increased police visibility

“For a crime to be committed, there has to be a motive and an opportunity. It’s difficult to control motive, but the opportunity to commit the crime, that’s what you can address,” said Eleazar, citing the purpose for increased police presence and visibility in the city.

Among the other focused crimes, the QCPD data showed a 39.8-percent drop in homicide cases from 108 to 65, and a nearly 50-percent fall in cases of theft from 7,798 to 3,981.

A similar pattern was also observed in incidences of robbery (48.6 percent decrease, from 3,605 to 1,854), physical injuries (37.2 percent drop, from 3,463 to 2,176) and rape (down 25.4 percent from 497 to 371).

Eleazar noted a 72.5-percent decrease in car theft, also among the focused crimes, from 448 to 123, which belied Quezon City’s status as Metro Manila’s “car theft capital.”

Consistently No. 1

In a 2017 survey released by the National Police Commission last month, the QCPD was consistently ranked No. 1 among the capital’s five police districts in categories like public trust and respect; level of public safety; and the lifestyle, moral and ethics of police.

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The survey also showed that the QCPD was the second “most trusted” police station in Metro Manila, bested only by Caloocan City, which was a significant leap from its rank of 12th in 2016.

TAGS: Crime, QC murders, Rodrigo Duterte

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