Thursday 16 August 2012

Crime rate falls in first 6 months of 2012

Channel NewsAsia, 14 Aug 2012

The crime situation appears to have improved with fewer cases reported in the first six months of this year.

Police said the number of cases fell by 2.3 per cent compared with the same period last year.

The sharpest declines were in housebreaking and robbery.

But the number of theft cases rose by 3.3 per cent.

The menace of loan sharks was singled out as a key concern by the police last year and the situation has improved.

In the first six months of this year, the number of cases fell by more than 20 per cent to about 5,200 cases, compared with the same period last year.

While the number of cases has fallen, more people have been arrested because of continued enforcement efforts by the police.

But what's worrying is more youths have been caught for such offences with an increase of 15 per cent in the number of youth arrested.

The problem of phone scams has also eased with the number of cases down by about 15 per cent to 98 cases for the first six months of this year.

The amount of money involved shrank from S$3 million to S$2.37 million.

Overall, five of the six categories of crime saw improvement.

The biggest fall was for housebreaking - the number of cases fell by 22 per cent compared with the same period last year.

It's followed by Violent Property Crimes, which refers to cases where money or property is taken by force against victims.

The number of cases of Commercial Crimes and Crimes Against Persons, such as murder and rape, also fell.

Miscellaneous Crimes such as vandalism and trespassing, registered the smallest drop at 2.6 per cent.

But theft cases went up by 3.3 per cent to nearly 9,500 cases.

Many of these cases involved bicycle theft.

A co-owner of Bike Stop, Low Tee Yuan, said: "I have customers coming in to tell me 'Really? I need to lock my bike?' And especially foreigners 'Singapore is a very safe place, you sure bikes get stolen?' When they get a bike, we'll recommend them to get a lock together with the bike and also, tell them not to leave their bikes unattended."

A police spokesperson, DSP Lau Kian Keong, said: "The police have joined hands with Town Councils, who have each installed over 100 bicycle racks with enhanced security features. Police are also working with SMRT and SBS Transit to install more CCTV cameras at bicycle bays in MRT stations."

Police have urged residents not to make it easy for thieves to fish for items placed near the windows.

They should also lock their window grilles. In short, they should make it difficult for criminals to strike.

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