Decrease credited to the coronavirus
According to data released by Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6), the crime rate across the region dropped by 62.31 percent between March 16 and yesterday. PRO-6 noted, there were a total of 130 incidents reported in that time period, a decrease from the 345 reported during the same period last year.
Law enforcement officials said ongoing concerns surrounding the coronavirus disease, or Covid-19, contributed to the decrease.
“Since there’s [the] Covid-19 issue, our crime rates decreased, especially [these] last four days, when local government units [ordered] the public to stay in their houses and some stores and establishments closed,” explained PRO-6 spokesperson, Police Lt. Colonel Joem Malong. “We can really feel that crime [has] dropped – even petty crimes.”
The law enforcement official added, after Iloilo City Mayor Jerry P. Treñas earlier announced the city government is considering a lockdown, while crime is projected to further decrease, the public should remain cautious.
“With a lockdown [of] the city, we don’t [want to] be complacent because other criminals will grab the opportunity,” she pointed out. “That is why we are warning the public to remain in their house and always lock their doors.”
Earlier, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-Region VI (PDEA-6) Director Alex Tablate said the recent decline in the illegal drug trade is due to fears of the coronavirus disease.
“The drug trade really declined due to Covid-19,” the PDEA-6 official explained. “Kasi wala silang buyers dahil nag-stay sa bahay ang mga buyers and users (Dealers have nobody to sell to since buyers and users are staying home).”
Tablate added, restricted border crossings and more checkpoints are further depleting the industry./WDJ