ZCPO intensifies security operations amid crime hike

The Zamboanga City Police Office [ZCPO] has intensified its security operations, particularly within the central business district and, following a significant increase in crime volume from January to May 21, this year as compared to the same period last year.

ZCPO spokesperson Col. Paul Andrew Cortes reported during the press briefing in City Hall last Monday, May 22, that the intensified checkpoint operations are manned by operatives of city’s 11 territorial police stations and Joint Task Force Zamboanga.

He said the checkpoint operations are conducted 24/7 following the schedule of simultaneous and random checkpoints, in addition to the so-called decoy checkpoints established at least 100 meters away from the regular checkpoints for the exit and entry points and/or diversion road of suspected criminals who intend to elude the checkpoints.

Police operatives in full battle gear and equipped with radios are also deployed in a buddy-buddy system after every checkpoint operation, covering as far as Barangay San Roque down to Sta. Maria, Baliwasan, Canelar, Tumaga, Tugbungan and Talon-Talon, among other areas of coverage.

Col. Cortes added that “Oplan Bakal” or “Oplan Sita,” a campaign against loose firearms, is also being intensified in areas of convergence, pub houses and along sidewalks or roadways where people would converge.

This, as the city’s crime volume, particularly the eight focus crimes, has went up by 84.78% from January to May 21, this year compared to the same period in 2022.

The eight focus crimes are theft with 71 cases, murder 30, physical injury 28, rape 61, robbery 40, carnapping [motorcycle] 23, and homicide 2. No carnapping involving motor vehicles was reported.-[Vic Larato]