Map shows crime hotspots around the University based on the data provided by the University Belt Area Police Blotters. Figures show the number of crime incidents that occurred in streets surrounding UST from August 2009 to October 2009.  Illustrations by Fritzie Marie C. Amar, Rey Ian M. Cruz and Jasmine C. SantosJUST how safe is UST and its environs?

The four streets surrounding UST have been a favorite place for petty crimes such as theft. Some cases have been recorded right inside the campus, police data from the past two months showed.

Data from University Belt Area (UBA) Police Station showed Padre Noval Street as the most dangerous place for students, with 22 crimes recorded from August 30 to October 30.

Seventeen criminal acts occurred in España, while 15 happened in Lacson. None were recorded in Dapitan.

Doris Galit-Paredes of the UST security office said dim lights in P. Noval may be a factor for the high crime rate in the area.

“P. Noval has many illegal settlers around. I’m not saying that they are the criminals, but there is a possibility,” she added.

UBA blotters revealed theft as the most common crime in the four corners of the University with 20 occurrences in the past two months alone.

Robbery came in at close second with 19 reports, followed by physical injury with nine cases. Other crimes were homicide, murder, car theft and rape, with one reported case each.

Around UST, criminals are also present at Cayco and Jhocson Streets with nine reported crime incidences, followed by S.H. Loyola Street with eight. Theft also ranked the highest with 15 of the 37 crimes recorded during the two-month period.

Despite the big number of crimes, Joseph Badinas detachment commander of the security office guaranteed the safety of Thomasians inside campus walls.

“The crimes outside the campus may have increased as we have strengthened the security measures within the campus. We are doing our best to form a solution,” he said.

READ
What makes a political campaign work?

But records showed criminal incidents on campus. Seven cases were recorded inside UST during the same period. Two of them were theft, while another case involved robbery.

Badinas said thieves have different modus operandi, from dressing as students to employing “dugo-dugo” gangs’ tactics wherein a stranger would openly accuse a person of wrongdoing, forcing the victim to give all of his valuables (see related story below).

“Students should always be cautious with strangers and even students who just suddenly talk to them. Thieves would sometimes borrow valuables like cell phones and just run away with,” he said.

Badinas said a “skeletal force” of guards is deployed within the University. The security office has also sought the help of 12 barangay captains covering the streets near UST or at least one tanod or village watchman to patrol during nighttime, he said.

Aside from being cautious, Police Station 4 operations staff Nova Villostas said victims of crimes should not hesitate reporting to the police.

Of the blottered crimes, 16 cases were resolved by UBA, most of which were theft, but 18 cases had to be turned over to Station 4 in Barangay Balic-Balic for further investigation.

Data from Station 4 however revealed that only eight cases were resolved, or reached the courts, from October last year to October 2009.

“These eight are just the solved cases. This is because some complainants fail to follow up their case, maybe because they were afraid or because they think it would take a lot of their time,” Villostas said.

PO2 Franz Francisco said most of the time complainants who had been robbed do not pursue the case once they have recovered their valuables.

READ
UST Singers reap nine awards in European tour

“That’s the down side of it. If they do not press charges, then the suspect is free to go, enabling him to conduct his illegal activities again and again,” he said.

The security office’s jurisdiction is limited to the 21-hectare lot occupied by the University and the surrounding area. If it goes beyond that point, UBA takes over.

“Every day we receive one or two reports of robbery or theft from the UST security office, however, if these are large crimes involving large sums of money, they could immediately go to the Police Station 4 where further and deeper investigations are conducted,” Francisco said.

He advised students who encounter or witness a crime to report to the nearest police station.

“With the use of our radio for fast communication, they (students) can expect that response and action would be given at the soonest possible time,” Badinas said.

The nearest police outposts from UST are the UBA Police Station at the P. Noval Street, and the police community precinct facing Ramon Magsaysay High School on España.

Victims should proceed to the desk officer and give complete details of the crime. Police will then direct the complainant to the investigation unit where pieces of evidence should be presented, if there are any. Afterwards, the investigator will accompany the victim to a prosecutor to file a case.

A valid identification card will be required from the complainant.

“We urge all the students to take extra care by avoiding suspicious-looking people and dimly lit areas,” Francisco said. With reports from Adrienne Jesse A. Maleficio

1 COMMENT

  1. My daugther just happened to have been victimized by a snatcher at P. Noval. Advised her not to pass P. Noval anymore. I hope all streets sorrounding UST will be provided with more working street lights and police protection.
    Now, why are there reports also inside the Campus? This is something that the school needs to give priority to. How can we be sure that our children are safe?

LEAVE A REPLY

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.