The Bureau of Public Safety (BPS) reported that crime rate in Palau in the first half of 2019 is down by 14 percent when compared to the same period last year.

The BPS statistics showed that there are a total of 736 crimes recorded from January to June this year with Crimes Against Public Places such as drinking in public, disorderly conduct, trespassing, property damage, and terroristic threatening comprising the big chunk of the cases that totaled to 315.

Public Safety Director Aloysius Alonz attributed the decline of crime rate to the performance of the police, particularly the Narcotics Enforcement Agency (NEA) initiatives in curbing illegal drugs problem in Palau.

Alonz explained that when there are less drugs in the community, crime rate also goes down. Apart from that, the BPS director also said that the increased submissions of cases by the patrol division and the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) to the Attorney General’s office also help discouraged people from committing crimes.

Based on the BPS statistics, all the other crimes such as crime against persons, crime against public places, crimes involving minors, larcenies/thefts, and driving-related cases had dropped down except Domestic Violence or Family Protection Act (FPA) cases which surged to 88% or 30 cases for the first half 0f 2019 compared to only 16 cases in the same period last year.

Alonz, however, attributed the increase of FPA cases to the public being more open to report the incidences to the authorities now. Alonz explained that in the past, people tend to withhold reporting family-related incidences to authorities under the belief that “what happens at home, stays at home.” (Rhealyn C. Pojas)