MAJOR crime incidents in Metro Manila have gone down by as much as 80 percent since the Enhanced Community Quarantine was imposed by the National Capital Region Police Office with criminals and other trouble-makers apparently staying home as hundreds of checkpoints were set up since last week to help arrest the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus, NCRPO director, Major General Debold M. Sinas told the Journal Group yesterday.
"Malaki po talaga, 80 percent po ang ibinaba ng crimes. Indeed, there is a massive decrease, a massive reduction. We are observing it kasi nga walang tao sa kalye, walang ganon pero despite everything, nanghuhuli pa rin 'yung tao natin ng mga nang-aabuso para po mapigilan po sila,"the Metro Manila police chief said in comparing their statistics this month to the same period last year.
Sinas said that apart from the heavy presence of the police and the military in the streets which apparently have scared the wits of law offenders, majority of the public in Metro Manila seems to have obeyed calls on them by the government to just stay home so that they won’t catch the virus and become carriers of the highly-communicable disease.
However, Sinas said they are not lowering their guards down and are seeing to it that criminality will be further reduced in the metropolis since there will always be a possibility that criminals will always be taking advantage of any opportunity given to them.
"Despite na naggagawa tayo ng quarantine, may mangilan-ngilan pa rin na gumagawa ng hindi mabuti but we assure you, mababa po talaga ang crime natin,” said the official.
Specifically, incidents of rape, motorcycle and motor vehicle theft and robbery-holdups have gone down in Metro Manila since the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces started putting up Quarantine Control Points of QCPs as part of the government measure versus COVID-19 and strictly implemented ordinances like no drinking and smoking in public and the curfew hours. The government also banned the sale of liquor to the public as part of the quarantine measures.
PNP chief, General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa said that all measures are being undertaken by the PNP to help prevent criminality including possible looting that may take place once people start clamoring for more food. The PNP chief has ordered stepped-up police foot and mobile patrols to help deter criminality and prevent possible looting in food hubs and other warehouses.
PNP Deputy Chief for Operations, Lieutenant Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar said crime rate in the entire Luzon region also went down since the QCPs were put up on orders of President Duterte and Gen. Gamboa.
The official attributed the drop in crime rate to the very strong presence of the police in over a thousand checkpoints across Luzon.