53 crimes hit ‘new’ Boracay 2 weeks into reopening

AIMING AT THE ‘TARGETS.’ A police officer trains a firearm at men portraying hostage-takers with their “victims” during a simulation of scenarios that could disturb peace and order in the newly rehabilitated Boracay, in this photo taken Oct. 25, 2018, a day before the island resort was reopened to tourists after a six-month closure. IAN PAUL CORDERO/PN

BORACAY – Fifty-three crimes transpired in this island resort two weeks into its reopening to tourists after a six-month closure that gave way to environmental rehabilitation efforts.

Twenty-one of these cases were handled by officers from the police station of Malay, Aklan stationed in the island.

Eight of these happened from Oct. 26 to 31 while 13 transpired from Nov. 1 to 11, according to the Malay police station.

Of these cases, 12 were index crimes (theft, physical injury and robbery) while nine were non-index crimes (direct assault, unjust vexation, deceit, and malicious mischief), said the police.

During the same two-week period the three island barangays – Yapak, Manoc-manoc and Balabag – handled 31 cases, while another crime was handled by other law enforcement units.

Among the island villages, Balabag had the most number of “focus crimes” with nine, followed by Manoc-manoc with three, police said.

Officers have also identified Cagban, Bantud, Puka Beach, Angol, Caticlan, and Bulabog, among others, as “hotspot areas,” where most crimes were expected to happen.

Foot and mobile patrol officers were deployed to these “critical” areas to reduce the prevalence of crimes, said the police.

Police in Western Visayas already expected a surge in crimes when Boracay reopens due to increased human activities.

On the eve of the Oct. 26 reopening government security forces staged a “capability demonstration,” simulating scenarios including terror attack, drowning, kidnapping, hostage-taking, fire, and search and rescue.

“We are ready, including the volunteers from nongovernment organizations, to respond to any emergency situations,” Philippine National Police chief, Director General Oscar Albayalde then said.

Currently the Malay police station has five substations covering the three island barangays and a mobile patrol unit, for a total force of 213 officers, according to their Integrated Patrol Deployment Plan.

“Force multipliers” augmenting the local police force – mostly civilian organizations – included the following:

* Malay Auxiliary Police

* barangay tanods

* Kabalikat Civicom

* Salaam Police

* Public Assistance for Rescue, Disaster and Support Services (PARDSS) Foundation International

* PARDSS Anti-Crime Group

* Philippines Guardians Brotherhood, Inc.

* Kabayan

* Samahan ng mga Bisaya. (With Aklan Forum Journal/PN)


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