By Camille A. Aguinaldo
ABOUT 1.5 million Filipino families or 6.6% reported being victimized by common crimes within the past six months, which was one point below the estimated 1.7 million or 7.6% recorded in December 2017, according to a March survey by the Social Weather Stations (SWS).
The common crimes in the March survey included pickpocket or robbery of personal property, break-ins, carjacking, and physical violence.
The survey showed majority of the victimized families (1.4 million or 6.1%) lost property to street robbery, burglars, or carjackers within the past six months. About 145,000 families or 0.6%, meanwhile, reported their members hurt by physical violence within the past six months.
The survey was conducted on March 23 to 27, using face-to-face interviews with 1,200 adults nationwide with sampling error margins of ±2.5% for national percentages, and ±6% each for Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
“Victimization by common crimes reported in SWS surveys is much higher than the number of crimes actually reported to the police,” SWS stated.
By region, families robbed of their personal property outside their homes in the past six months fell by two points in Visayas, from 5% in December 2017 to 3% in March 2018.
However, street robbery rose in Manila, from 10.3% in the previous quarter to 10.7% in March 2018, and in Luzon, from 3.7% in December 2017 to 4.3% in March 2018. The figures remained unchanged in Mindanao.
The March survey also found more women victimized by street robbery and physical violence than men. Of the 4.6% who were robbed, 59% were women while 38% were men. The figures rose by 19 points among women, from 40% in December.
On physical violence, more women (50%) were victimized than men (43%). The figures rose by 39 points among women from the reported 11% in December 2017.
On the other hand, the survey also showed there were fewer incidents of break-ins and carjackings (2.2% or an estimated 516,000), compared with the December 2017 survey (3.4% or an estimated 790,000).
It also revealed that Filipinos were less afraid of robbers (54% in March 2018, down five points from 59% in December 2017) and less afraid of walking in the streets at night (46% in March 2018, down two points from the 48% in the previous quarter).
About 40% of Filipinos agreed that there were many drug addicts in their neighborhood, but this was down two points from 42% in December 2017.
Malacañang said in a statement, when sought for comment, that “(c)rimes continue to decline…. Such public sentiment is certainly a big boost to the morale of our law enforcement agencies as we vow to continue to ensure the safety of all Filipinos.”