The overall crime rate in Singapore fell by 2.3 per cent in the first six months of this year compared to the same period last year.
According to the figures from the Singapore Police Force released on Tuesday, a total number of 15,576 cases were registered in the first half of the year versus 15,944 cases for the first six months of 2011.
Unlicensed money lending and loanshark cases dropped by a significant 21 per cent from 6,642 to 5,228 cases over the period. However, there was an increase of 15 per cent of youths participating in those activities with the number of youths arrested over the same reference period rising from 95 to 109.
The only one of six categories which saw a spike in crime rates was in thefts, especially in the area of bicycle thefts and in dwelling.
The number of bicycle thefts rose by 260 cases, and mostly in common corridors and void decks of HDB units, and bicycle bays at MRT stations. The police are working with town councils to install security-enhanced bicycle racks to partly address the problem.
Thefts in dwelling increased by 161 cases. They are commonly reported to be in areas of residential units where suspects are domestic helpers, tenants, movers, renovation contractors, deliverymen; along residential corridor units to steal within reach via open windows or even using poles to ‘fish’ for items, at dormitories and even commercial units.
New crime trends
Cyber extortion and ‘Microsoft’ phone scams, however, are two highlights that the police have also reported an increase in cases.
The cyber extortions usually involves female suspects attempting to extort money from male victims. The suspects attempted to extort money by threatening to post photos or videos of the victims following an online cyber-sex session over a web camera.
The figures have shown that the number of cases increased from 11 for the whole of 2011 to 32 cases from January to July this year.
‘Microsoft’ phone scams is a new phone scam trend observed early this year with victims receiving phone calls from suspects who claimed to be representatives from the computer firm ‘Microsoft’. It was reported that of the 32 cases reported in the first half of this year, five victims transferred a total sum of $1,462 to scammers, each transferring amounts between $100 and $800.
Though the total of phone scams in the first half of this year is under 100, the amount cheated amounted to $2.3 million.
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