PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde. (File photo)

MANILA -- Crime volume in the country decreased during the so-called “ber” months since President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Wednesday.

Data from the Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management (DIDM) showed that the nationwide crime volume has steadily declined during the “ber” months (September- December) from 191,733 crime cases in 2016 to 154,925 in 2017 and 163,821 in 2018.

The figure also showed the decline of crime volume from 393,150 from January to August 2016 to 365,716 in 2017 and 326,572 in 2018.

This year, the PNP has recorded 307,091 cases from January to August this year.

PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde said this breaks the trend that crimes spike during the “ber” months.

“For now, we have broken this trend. The idea of increased crime volume during 'ber' months is slowly becoming a thing of the past,” Albayalde told reporters. 

“People start shopping during these months. Once they have the money, they use this for shopping purposes or buying of gifts as early as September. We prepare for gift-giving come Christmas Day in December. This is also primarily the reason why some petty crimes rise during this season,” he explained. 

The PNP attributed the lower crime rates to the intensified campaign of President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration against all forms of criminality, particularly against illegal drugs.

Earlier, Maj. Gen. Guillermo, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief, said the continuous drop in the crime rate is due to their intensified police intervention and campaign against illegal drugs and other crimes. 

“Partly, this can be attributed to more active police interventions and increased vigilance of our citizens during this period brought about by strong public awareness thru the media,” Eleazar said.

“It is now a myth in NCR. We have reversed that at least since 2016,” the Metro Manila top cop noted.”

He directed all district commanders in Metro Manila to be more alert against criminal syndicates and to intensify its security operations in places of convergence such as malls, shopping complexes and transport terminals where people tend to congregate.

He also renewed his appeal to the public to help and cooperate with authorities in apprehending those involved in criminal activities. (PNA)