The robbery and theft cases declined by 60 percent since the government imposed varying community quarantine restrictions on March 17 to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, Joint Task Force Covid Shield commander Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said on October 3, 2020.

He also said eight focus crimes such as murder, homicide, physical injury, rape, robbery, theft, and carnapped vehicles and motorcycles dropped by 46 percent in the past 200 days.

“While the community quarantine denied criminal elements the usual opportunity to strike, the increased police visibility down to the barangay level is a big factor in reducing criminal incidents across the country,” Eleazar said.

Citing a Philippine National Police (PNP) data, the task force said a total of 18,683 crimes were recorded from March 17 to October 2 this year compared to 34,768 criminal incidents from Aug. 30, 2019 to March 16, 2020.

“Translated to a daily crime average, the Philippines has recorded an average of 93 criminal incidents per day during the 200-day implementation of the community quarantine compared to 174 per day incidents of the 200-day period before the community quarantine implementation,” Eleazar added.

The biggest decline was recorded for motorcycle theft, dropping by 64 percent from 2,210 cases to only 786 followed by robbery cases that declined by 61 percent from 5,627 cases to only 2,073. Theft cases plunged from 11,653 to 4,690 and carnapped vehicles reduced from 240 to only 97 during lockdown period.

The PNP also reported 38 percent decline (from 5,958 to 3,692) in cases of physical injury, 23 percent (5,080 to 3,911) in rape, 20 percent (3,463 to 2,971) in murder, and 25 percent (897 to 673) in homicide cases.

At present, Metro Manila along with province of Batangas and cities of Iloilo, Iligan, Bacolod and Tacloban is under general community quarantine while Lanao del Sur including Marawi City was placed under a stricter modified enhanced community quarantine until October 31.

The rest of the country is under the modified GCQ, the most lenient quarantine classification. (Christopher Lloyd Caliwan, PNA)