Dante Jimenez, chairman of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC), an anti-crime watchdog in Metro Manila, said this week that violent crime in Metro Manila had increased by 50% in the first eight months this year over the same period last year, contrary to reported police statistics. “Crimes in Metro Manila are getting more violent and frequent because it appears that the National Capital Region Police Office has failed to deter crimes and to protect civilians who end up as victims,” Jimenez emphasized.
COMMENT: A 50% increase in crime during an eight-month period is very hard to substantiate without incredibly reliable data. The national police has recorded 64 murders in Quezon City alone in May [Quezon City is the largest municipality in Metro Manila, with a population of 2 million]. For crime data to be reliably analyzed, it must be 100% mandatory, standardized, retrieval by geographical sector within Metro Manila and redundantly evaluated. Clearly, an accurate depiction of crime statistics is currently unavailable. Unfortunately, crime statistics also have become a political issue in Manila, which further complicates objective analysis.
One thing we do know is that crime in Metro Manila is high and that armed robbery, carjacking and home invasions are a common occurrence. Assuredly, any metropolitan area reporting 64 homicides in a month translates into a crisis. Hence, it is essential that someone definitively identify crime trends and victimization levels very similar to what the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation does in its annual UNIFORM CRIME REPORTS, so as to neutralize the political saber-rattling. Based upon my knowledge of crime in Manila, if we were to use categories such as Low, Medium, High and Extreme, I would assess the violent crime threat in Manila to be HIGH. I should add that crime statistics alone do not tell the whole story. They must be assessed in the context of professional training programs, funding, arrest clearance rates, ratio of a police officer per 1,000 citizens and technological investigative resources available to the police.