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Crime Situation - First half 2003

The first half of 2003 recorded a 3.2% increase in crime compared to Jan-Jun 2002. The total number of seizable offences increased from 15,913 to 16,429 cases in Jan-Jun 2003.

Theft and related crimes including theft of vehicles, theft from vehicles and persons, snatch theft and shop theft accounted for about half of the total seizable offences recorded.

Handphones, cash cards and laptops/notebooks continued to be targeted in theft from motor vehicle cases. Such cases saw an increase in the first half of 2003 for handphones by 40 cases, cash cards by 8 cases and laptops/notebooks by 35 cases. There were also more thefts of bicycles from 157 to 253.

The two main areas of concern were robberies and rioting cases.

Robberies increased by 23.2% or 103 cases to 547 cases in the first half of 2003. More robberies were committed in common areas such as lift and lift landings, staircases, void decks and corridors.

About a third of the robbery victims were female. The number of elderly victims robbed also increased by 29 persons (61.7%). More than three-quarters of the elderly victims robbed were females, who were going home after marketing or fetching their grandchildren to/from school.

Police have not let down in our efforts to deal with the increase in robberies. Arrests of robbers in Jan-Jun 03 have increased by more than 20% compared to the same period last year.

Rioting increased by 47 cases from 166 to 213 cases in the first half of 2003. About half of the rioting cases occurred at open and common areas such as along streets, corridors and void decks while 15% occurred at nightspots such as nightclubs, discotheques, pubs and lounges.

Common causes of rioting stem from disputes, bullying and staring incidents. Youth involvement in rioting cases also saw an increase of about 6% from 36% to 42%.

The number of persons arrested for rioting during this period also increased by more than 40% compared to the same period last year.

Motor vehicle theft decreased by 19.3 % or 138 cases, from 715 to 577 cases. More than 60% of motor vehicles stolen were motor cycles while motor cars make up about another 13%.

In terms of categories of vehicles stolen, theft of lorries and pickups have increased while theft of motor cars, motor cycles and scooters have decreased. Four serial motor vehicle thieves have also been arrested during the period for their involvement in at least 31 cases of motor vehicle theft.

"Opportunities for robbers and thieves can be greatly reduced if members of public are vigilant and remember to practise crime prevention advice. Members of public have done well in keeping their cars locked and reducing the number of vehicles stolen. Other simple habits such as keeping your handphones, laptops, handbags or cashcards out of sight can go a long way in preventing yourself from being the next victim," said Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police Tan Puay Kern, Director Public Affairs.

Mr Tan added, "The rise in elderly victims being robbed is a concern. Their families must play an active part in informing the elderly in their homes of these ploys and the simple measures that they can take to prevent crime from happening to their loved ones."

Source: Singapore Police Force 24 Jul 2003



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5 August 2003

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