PNP reports rise in young offenders in Benguet

By ANNALYN REBECCA EISMA
www.nordis.net

LA TRINIDAD — Benguet Provincial Police reported an increasing number of minors involved in snatching, swindling and small cases of robbery in Baguio and La Trinidad in the Council session at the Provincial Capitol Hall last January 14.

Queries regarding peace and order in the key municipalities of the province were discussed in the presence of the newly installed Officer in charge of Banguet Police Senior Superintendent Rodolfo Azurin Jr.

In the said session, Police Inspector Vicente Tamid-ay pointed out that “Hundreds of crimes were committed by groups of minors aged 10-16 who are repeatedly caught, turned over to the Women and Children’s Desk.”

Tamid-ay cited examples where said minors were caught twice in a week then released again by the Women and Children’s Desk of the Provincial Police Office because of his age. Even those who are put into the custody of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) follow the same trend.

Police records show around a hundred of cases involving minors in the market area and BSU campus in La Trindad and Baguio City Public Market and Burnham Park in Baguio City.

Baguio City Chief of Police Jesus Cambay disclosed in a separate interview that 60% to 70% of perpetrators of crimes against property in the city, that include robbery, pick pocket, theft and snatching are minors. He said the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) has a program to address this alarming number of kids engaging in criminal activities. He added that the program includes counseling with the hope of molding the young offenders into law abiding citizens.

Azurin during his visit to the provincial board regular session urged the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to craft ordinances to sanction minors involved in crimes. He explained that it is better to discipline the young offenders while they are still young because they will pose greater danger when they grow older.

He further said that criminal syndicates recruit and use children in their illegal activities because they can get away with criminal charges given their age as provided by law. He added that children are cheaper to maintain as they will not demand higher share or payment. # nordis.net

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