Guam mayors: No significant changes in crime rate

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HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — Yigo Mayor Rudy Matanane said crime in his village has neither increased nor decreased since the first cases of Covid-19 were confirmed on Guam and the governor ordered residents to “socially isolate.”

But Matanane is concerned that could change as the virtual lockdown continues.

“Because even though we are not hearing anything right now, it’s bound to happen,” he said on Wednesday. He said as more people get laid off, desperation may set in, leading residents to “do things they would not normally do because their family has needs.”

In an effort to combat any increase in crime, Matanane said he is working to revive the Yigo Neighborhood Watch program and plans to have a meeting with the Guam Police Department next week.

Matanane said the crisis has hit middle- to low-income residents the most.

“I’m pretty sure there is a lot of them that are suffering now,” he said.

While he said the majority of residents in Yigo are obeying the social isolation mandate, Mantanane said he would support stricter enforcement for those who are not.

Sinajana Mayor Robert Hofmann said the rate of crime has not significantly changed in the past couple of weeks, although there was a burglary recently.

“So we urge our people to not forget to secure your windows, lock doors,” he said.

He said his staff have seen fewer curfew violations since GPD ramped up enforcement of the law for teens 17 years old and younger. They must be inside by 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and by 12:01 a.m. in the early morning hours of Saturday and Sunday or their parents could face a $500 fine.

“We do see less curfew violations and people staying indoors,” Hofmann said. “While we have seen less people out and about, we don’t take it for granted.”

He said the Sinajana Neighborhood Watch remains active and vigilant.

‘Everything is nice and quiet’

Tamuning-Tumon-Harmon Mayor Louise Rivera said minors are also obeying curfew in the central villages and crime has not increased.

“Everything is nice and quiet,” she said.

Rivera and her staff are busy delivering 75 meals per day to seniors at their homes and distributing them to the 40 seniors who are able to pick them up at the mayor’s office.

She said some residents have offered to help.

“It’s so wonderful. I keep getting calls asking how they can help,” she said.

But with limited personal protective equipment, Rivera said she is unable to accept the assistance.

“I am appreciative, but at this time I am not taking volunteers due to the shortage of gloves and masks,” she said. “Everyone should just stay home.”

And in addition to staying home, practicing compassion and consideration is key, said Rivera.

‘We can pull through this’

Mongmong-Toto-Maite Mayor Rudy Paco said the MTM Neighborhood Watch is continuing to patrol at night and he has seen no significant rise in crime, though some residents are not obeying the governor’s mandate to socially isolate.

For example, he said, groups of people are still gathering at the basketball court to play in the evenings. He said they will now be forced to remove the basket to discourage further violations.

“We are trying to keep the community safe, but it is difficult,” he said. “Some people are not really taking it seriously.”

He said he would support measures to increase enforcement of the social isolation mandate.

“I think it is necessary — very necessary,” he said.

Paco said he is advising residents to obey all laws, including driving within the speed limit.

“This is not the time to be stupid out there on the road and be crazy,” Paco said.

He said he and his staff are using protective gear as they continue their duties, and are staying a safe distance away from constituents.

“We can pull through this if we all work together,” Paco said.

Agat roads ‘are a lot quieter’

Agat Mayor Kevin Susuico said he has received no reports of crime from GPD recently. He said residents seem to be staying home as much as possible.

“Thankfully, it seems they are adhering to the executive order,” Susuico said. “The roads are a lot quieter at night, so that is good for us.”

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