Crime victimization dips, fear remains in SWS poll

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A SECOND QUARTER poll conducted in June found 5.3% (or an estimated 1.2 million) of families reporting victimization by crimes within the past six months, a figure that’s 1.3 points below the 6.6% (est. 1.5 million) in March.

The Second Quarter 2018 Social Weather Survey by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) said this drop is “the lowest since the record-low 3.7% in June 2017.”

Crimes monitored by the non-commissioned survey, which was conducted in June, include pickpocketing or robbery of personal property, break-ins, carjacking, and physical violence.

The survey found 5.1% (est. 1.2 million) of families losing property to street robbery, burglars (break-ins), or carjacking within the past six months. “This is 1.0 point below the 6.1% (est. 1.4 million) in March 2018, and lowest since the record-low 3.1% in June 2017,” the poll said.

The survey also found a record-low 0.2% (est. 45,000) of families with members hurt by physical violence, if a dip of 0.4 point below the 0.6% (est. 145,000) in March 2018, and of 0.1 point below the previous record-low of 0.3% in June 2011 and June 2014.

The survey pointed out that “(v)ictimization by common crimes reported in SWS surveys is much higher than the number of crimes actually reported to the police.”

It added: “Except in March 2013 and June 2016 when it was at 10.5% and 11.4% respectively, victimization of families by any common crime was at single-digit levels from March 2012 to June 2018. Meanwhile, except in June 2016 when it was 10.9%, victimization of property crimes was also at single-digit levels from March 2012 to June 2018.”

The survey found 55% of Filipino adults agreeing with the statement, “In this neighborhood, people are usually afraid that robbers might break into their houses.” This is similar to 54% in March 2018, and lower than 59% in December 2017, the poll said.

The survey found 46% agreeing with the statement, “In this neighborhood, people are usually afraid to walk in the street at night because it is not safe.” The earlier March poll also led to 46%, but this was slightly lower than the 48% in December last year, SWS said.

The survey also found street robberies falling in all areas — notably 2.7 points in Metro Manila and the Visayas — but rising 2 points in Mindanao, the one region under martial law since May 2017. On the other hand, families fearing unsafe streets fell by 12 points in Mindanao, from 48% in March to 36% in June.

Among other crimes monitored by the survey, carjacking yielded 0.0 in Metro Manila and the Visayas, but rose to 0.7% in Balance Luzon and 0.8% in Mindanao.

The survey also found that among the 4.0% who have been victims of street robbery, 61% were women and 34% were men. Victimization by street robbery rose by 2 points among women, from 59% in March, but fell by points among men, from 38% also in March.

The survey was conducted June 27-30, using face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults (18 years old and above) nationwide: 300 each in Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, with sampling error margins of ±2.5% for national percentages and ±6% each for the said areas.

In response to the survey, Presidential Spokesperson Harry L. Roque, Jr. said: “Bumaba pa po ang numero ng krimen at ang taumbayan na mismo ang nagsasabi nito (The crime rate has dropped and our countrymen themselves are saying this).”