Crime down in Metro Manila, Central Luzon in first days of lockdown

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Crime down in Metro Manila, Central Luzon in first days of lockdown

Gerard Carreon

The two regions' police offices report lower crime volumes compared to the same days in March 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Crime was down in Metro Manila and Central Luzon during the first days of the lockdown or “enhanced community quarantine” due to the coronavirus outbreak, versus the same period in 2019, according to police.

In figures shared to the media on Sunday, March 22, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) said the crime volume was lower by 67.6% from March 15 to 20, the first 6 days of the Metro Manila lockdown, compared to the same days last year.

There were 766 crimes reported in the capital region, compared to 2,367 a year ago.

Among these incidents, only 73 were focus (or index) crimes, lower by 65.4% versus the 211 recorded in 2019. Index crimes are crimes against persons and property, such as murder, rape, and robbery.

Meanwhile, non-index crimes – all other illegal acts – decreased by 15.3% this year at 414, versus 489 in 2019.

There were fewer traffic incidents during the lockdown as well – only 279 incidents, an 83.3% drop compared to the 1,667 in the same period in 2019.

Metro Manila – where most coronavirus cases are concentrated – was placed under lockdown starting March 15, as part of the government’s attempt to contain the virus’ spread.

In Central Luzon, too: The Police Regional Office 3 of the Philippine National Police (PNP PRO3) said the number of focus crimes is down in Central Luzon, too, versus the same period last year.

From March 17 to 21, the first 5 days of the lockdown in Luzon, there were only 17 incidents of focus crimes, compared to 75 such incidents reported in the same days in 2019, which means a 77.3% drop.

PNP PRO3 also compared this recent crime volume to the previous week, March 10 to 16, when 88 focus crimes were recorded. However, that period covered 7 days, versus only 5 days from March 17 to 21.

Looking at data from March 3 to 21, PNP PRO3 said the numbers are also down versus the same days in 2019 for focus crimes. It reported 186 incidents for those days this year, lower by 39.4% versus the 307 logged in 2019.

The government expanded the lockdown to mainland Luzon starting March 17 as an “enhanced community quarantine” measure.

The lockdown in Metro Manila will last until April 14 and in Luzon until April 12, unless ended earlier or prolonged, depending on the situation of the outbreak in these areas. –

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