1.7M families victimized by common crimes but annual average drops to record low

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An investigator at a crime scene (Reuters file)

MANILA, Philippines — An estimated 1.7 million families fell victim to common crimes and violence in the last quarter of 2017, results of a survey by the Social Weather Stations showed, although the poll also showed the average victimization by any of the common crimes for 2017 at a record-low of 6.1 percent, or 2 points below the 7.6 percent annual average in 2016, and 0.6 point below the 6.2 percent in 2015.

The survey was done on December 8 to 6, 2017 using face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults nationwide.

The questions on victimization by common crimes were as follows: Ngayon, nais po naming malaman ang karanasan ninyo at ng iba pang miyembro ng inyong pamilyang nakatira dito, tungkol sa krimen. Nitong nakaraang 6 buwan, kayo ba o kahit na sinong miyembro ng inyong pamilya ay naging biktima ng… (Pandurukot o pagnanakaw ng pansariling kagamitan; Pagpasok o break-in sa tahanan; Pagnanakaw ng kotse o sasakyang de motor o wala kayong sasakyang de motor; Pambubugbog, pananaksak o iba pang karahasan)? Kung OO: Ilang beses po? [Now, we would also like to know your experiences and those of other family members residing here, regarding crime. In the past 6 months, have you or any member of your family been a victim of… (Pick-pocketing/robbery of personal property; Break-in at respondent’s residence; Carnapping or no motor vehicle; Physical violence)? IF YES: How many times?].

For those who said their families had been victims of pick-pocketing/robbery of personal property and physical violence, a follow up question was asked: Ano po ang kasarian ng biktima at edad niya noong nangyari ito sa kanya?[What is the gender of the victim and his/her age when this happened?]

The survey found 7.1 percent of families (estimated at 1.6 million) losing property to street robbery (pickpocket or robbery of personal property), burglars (break-ins), or carnappers within the past six months.

It also found 0.8 percent of families (est. 188,000) with members injured by physical violence within the past six months.

This sums up to 7.6 percent (est. 1.7 million) of families reporting victimization by any of the common crimes. This is 1.5 points above the 6.1 percent (est. 1.4 million) in September 2017, and the highest since the 11.4 percent in June 2016.

However, due to the record-low 3.7 percent quarterly victimization rate in June 2017, the resulting annual average victimization by any of the common crimes for 2017 was a record-low 6.1%.

As to gender, the December 2017 survey found that of the victims of street robbery, 52 percent are men, while 40 percent are women. The remaining 8 percent had no answer.

Still more men (61 percent) than women (11 percent) have been victims of physical violence, according to the survey.

The survey also revealed that 57 percent of Filipino adults nationwide said the safety of their family is better now compared to six months ago; 36 percent said it was the same before; and, 6 percent said it was worse now.