Crime cases dropped by 2 per cent last year: police

CORRECTED. Number of housebreaking crimes dropped to 596 not 706, violent property crimes fell to 391 not 443 and theft and related crimes rose by 1 per cent not 7 per cent.

Crimes reported in Singapore fell by 2 per cent last year from the year before as the number of housebreaking crimes and violent property crimes dropped to 20-year lows.

In total, reported crimes dropped to 30,868 cases last year from 31,508 case the previous year, the Singapore Police Force said in its annual crime situation report released on Wednesday.

SPF said that the improvement in the crime rate is due to their continuous enforcement efforts, crime prevention, community engagement and meting out tougher measures against criminals.

Housebreaking crimes dropped by 110 cases to 596 cases, a 20-year low. Similarly, violent property crimes fell to their lowest in 20 years, declining by 52 cases to 391 cases in 2012.

However, more outrage of modesty cases on buses and trains were also reported, increasing by 34 per cent or 39 cases to 153 cases last year.

Theft and related crimes, which made up  60 per cent of all reported cases, rose by 1 per cent to 18,421.

Bicycle theft cases went up by 79 cases. Police said improvement was seen in the second half of last year after alarm was raised at the end of the first half, when cases went up by 42 per cent in comparison to same period in 2011.

Authorities worked closely with various bodies to secure more bicycle racks in neighbourhoods and CCTVs leading to an effective slowdown of bicycle theft in the second half of 2012.

Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police Hoong Wee Teck, Direcctor of Criminal Investigations Department said in a statement, “Police also have zero tolerance for those who conduct harassment by deliberately setting fire, vandalizing vehicles or insulting another’s religion. We are determined to track down every culprit responsible for such brazen acts and subject them to the full brunt of law. “

Key crime concerns such as phone scams, unlicensed money lending and youth crime registered improvements though money involved remain high.

Lucky draw scams fell by 2 cases from 183 cases in 2011 to 181 cases in 2012 but the total amount of money cheated increased by about $1 million from $6.4 million in 2011 to $7.4 million in 2012.

The number of youths arrested for overall crime fell by 5 per cent from 3,477 arrests made in 2011 to 3,320 arrests in 2012.

Nonetheless, the police said in its statement that it will continue to work closely with educational institutions to engage youths at risk in the belief that multifaceted approach will provide a more lasting result. Measures include school talks and exhibitions as well as engaging the youths on both an individual and communal basis.

“Youths are the pillar of our future” says Director of operations, Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police, Lim Kok Thai. “For the past few years, Police had engaged youths with our various programmes such as the highly successful Delta League to keep them meaningfully occupied during their free time.”

In efforts to prevent, deter and detect crime, SPF is progressively installing police cameras that will eventually cover all HDB blocks and multi-story carparks.

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