Singapore

Violent crimes down; Internet scams, some drug offences up


The number of Internet scams and new drug abusers continued a rising trend last year, though the overall crime and drug situation remains stable, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said yesterday.

Its overview comes as various Home Team agencies are expected to issue their annual statistics from tomorrow.

While the number of commercial crimes dropped slightly, cheating involving e-commerce, Internet love scams and the impersonation of China officials continue to be areas of "significant concern", MHA said in a press statement.

This follows a sharp rise in online commercial offences the year before.

Internet love scams, where offenders often befriend victims on social media before cheating them of money, rose from 198 in 2014 to 383 in 2015.

Scams involving the impersonation of China officials rose from 179 cases in the first half of last year to 249 from last July to September.

A victim lost $2.38 million, said the police last October.

MHA said more new drug abusers have also been arrested last year.

But it highlighted that there have been fewer violent or serious property crimes, housebreaking, as well as theft and related crimes.

In 2015, there were 299 violent or serious property crimes, down from 535 in the year before.

DROP

Housebreaking and related crimes dropped from 360 in 2014 to 333 in 2015, while theft and related offences dipped from 16,722 in 2014 to 15,645 in 2015.

There were also fewer fatal accidents and deaths on the roads.

The number of immigration offenders arrested has remained low, said MHA, while those arrested for harbouring and employing them has also dropped.

MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS (MHA)crimeinternet