Fewer crime victims in Q4 2014, but fear still high – SWS poll

Women, students and activists perform the One Billion Rising dance in celebration of the International Women's Month at the Bonifacio Shrine in Manila. One Billion Rising is a global movement first held in 2012 to address issues on rape and sexual violence against women. (MNS Photo)

Women, students and activists perform the One Billion Rising dance in celebration of the International Women’s Month at the Bonifacio Shrine in Manila. One Billion Rising is a global movement first held in 2012 to address issues on rape and sexual violence against women. (MNS Photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) – Fewer Filipinos were victims of crimes in the last quarter of 2014, but fear of being victimized remained high, according to a new survey by pollster Social Weather Stations.

The SWS poll found that 6.7 percent of respondents, equivalent to four million families, said that either they or their kin were victims of common crimes involving property or violence.

In the third quarter, 7.9 percent or 4.7 million families said they were crime victims.

Also in the fourth quarter, there was an average of 12 crimes for every 10 victimized families

Meanwhile, the average common crime victimization rate for 2014 was 7.5 percent, a new annual record low. The previous record low was set in 2013, at 8.5 percent.

The SWS pointed out that victimization by any common crime has been at single-digit levels since March 2012, except in March 2013 when it was at 10.5 percent. The figure was at its lowest in June 2014  at 6.5 percent.

A breakdown of the most common crimes finds and that:

Some five percent (about three million families) said they were victimized by pickpockets in the past six months, down from the 5.5 percent (estimated 3.3 million) in the third quarter. The 2014 average victimization by pickpockets is 5.4 percent, 0.7 point below the 2013 average of 6.1 percent

Some 2.3 percent (about 1.4 million families) were burglary victims, down from 2.6 percent (about 1.6 million) in September. The 2014 average is 2.5 percent, the same as 2013

Some .7 percent (about 137,000) lost their vehicles to carnappers, compared to the .9 percent (about 173,000) in third quarter. The 2014 average victimization by carnapping was 0.7 percent, same as 2013.

The SWS also pointed out that victimization by common crimes reported in its surveys was much higher than the number of crimes reported to the police.

The poll was taken from November 27 to December 1, 2014 among 1,800 adults nationwide. Sampling error margins of ±2% for national percentages; ±6% each for Metro Manila, Balance Luzon and Mindanao; and ±3% for the Visayas, applied to the poll.

Property crimes, violence

The survey found that 6.2 percent (about 3.7 million families) lost property, 0.9 percent down from the 7.1 percent (4.2 million) in the third quarter.

The record-low annual average for property crimes was 7.0 percent in 2014, 1.1 points below the 8.1 percent in 2013.

Meanwhile, 0.7 percent of respondents (about 424,000 families) said they or family members were injured in crimes that involved physical violence, 0.5 point below the 1.2 percent (estimated 735,000) recorded the previous quarter.

The 2014 average for victimization by physical violence of 0.8 percent was a new record low from the  0.9 percent in 2013.

Neighborhood fears

However, the SWS found that “neighborhood fears” remained high, even with the dip in the number of victims.

In the 2014 fourth quarter poll, 58 percent feared robbers breaking into their houses, a slight dip from the third quarter’s 60 percent.

Also, 48 percent said they were usually afraid of walking on the street at night, compared to 51 percent in September.

Some 52 percent voiced fear of drug addicts, same number as September.

The 2014 annual average fear of burglary of 59 percent was a point below the record-high annual average of 60 percent in 2013.

The fear of unsafe streets at night of 49 percent was higher than the 2013 average of 48 percent, and is also the highest since the average of 50 percent in 2008.

The average fear of drug addicts for 2014 was a new record-high at 52 percent – five points higher than 47 percent in 2013. (MNS)

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