Increase of minor offenders alarms market stakeholders

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BAGUIO CITY – Concerned stakeholders in the city’s public market raised concern on the increase in the number of minors roaming around the public market and the night market areas and who had been identified culprits in pickpocket incidents in the said places.

Representatives of several associations of market and night market vendors informed the officials who attended the recent inter-agency meeting held at the City Hal that concerned agencies must do something in order to prevent the proliferation of minor offenders in the market and night market areas to help reduce pickpocket incidents.

The City Council Committee on Market, Trade and Commerce chaired by Councilor Leandro B. Yangot, Jr. initiated an inter-agency meeting to gather the inputs from various stakeholders on how to improve the public market, a show window of the city.

Superintendent Lauriano Alexis Mariñas, Deputy City Director for Administration of the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO), said appropriate coordination is being done by the BCPO with the City Social Welfare and Development Office to craft the necessary strategies to prevent the minor offenders in the market and night market areas.

He admitted numerous minor offenders had already been apprehended by law enforcers and subsequently turned over to the Social Development Center in Balenben, Irisan which is under the jurisdiction of the City Social Welfare and Development Office but the problem is that the minor offenders easily escape from the government facility and then go back to their illegal activities in the market.

Officers of night vendor associations claimed the minor offenders are usually the ones responsible for pickpocket incidents in the market, saying that the presence of minors in the market and the night market areas beyond curfew hours should not be allowed to help reduce the number of robbery incidents committed in the crowded places.

The BCPO official committed police operatives will try to increase their visibility in the market and night market areas and exert efforts to reduce the presence of minor offenders to help minimize robbery incidents.

He encouraged the barangay tanods and marshals of the different associations to be on alert for  the presence of minor offenders so that the probability of committing crimes could be prevented right from the start as robbery in the market places can affect the vibrancy of economic activities in the said places.

Yangot encouraged the members and officers of market vendor associations to continue raising their issues and concerns with the proper offices of the city so that appropriate and immediate actions could be taken to foster better relationships  among the vendors and city officials and employees.

By Dexter A. See

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