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     FrontPage Edition: Sun 13 January 2008

 Singapore Crime Situation 2007


Crime Situation for Jan-Dec 2007

The crime situation registered an improvement in 2007. Overall crime reported in 2007 fell from 33,263 to 32,545 cases when compared to 2006. Overall crime rate also fell from 742 to 695 per 100,000 population in 2007, which was the third-lowest in ten years.
Housebreaking and related crimes fell, from 1201 cases to 925 cases. In particular, the offence of housebreaking registered only 865 cases, which is the lowest in the last 20 years.
Theft and related crimes[1], which generally constitute more than half of overall crime each year, fell for the second year running from 20,301 to 19,522 cases in 2007.
Of the six crime classes[2], only commercial crimes recorded a significant increase of 330 cases. Violent property crimes increased slightly while crimes against persons and miscellaneous crimes did not register any significant change.
Police are particularly concerned with confrontational property crimes against the elderly[3], and cheating and related offences in 2007. Specifically, elderly victims falling prey to snatch theft and robbery increased by 71 persons, from 170 to 241 in 2007.
Elderly victims of cheating and related offences also rose from 97 to 115 persons in 2007. The emergence of various cheating phone scams targeting the unsuspecting public contributed to the rise of cheating and related offences. In addition, there were also concerns over statutory rape and outrage of modesty cases involving youths.
The number of arrests made by the Police marginally decreased from 19,639 to 19,371. For youth arrests[4], a total of 4,135 youths were arrested for crime in 2007, as compared to 4,280 in 2006. Six out of every ten youths arrested were involved in shop theft, other theft or rioting.
Theft and related crimes
Theft and related crimes registered 19,522 cases in 2007, down 779 cases from the 20,301 cases in 2006. The major sub-categories, including shop theft, theft occurring at residences, commercial and hotel premises, and theft at public areas such as eating places, all registered decreases.
Housebreaking and related crimes
Housebreaking and related crimes registered 925 cases in 2007, and down significantly by 276 cases compared to the 1,201 cases in 2006. In particular, the number of housebreaking cases, at 865, was the lowest for the last 20 years.
The large overall decrease could be mainly attributed to fewer break-ins at industrial premises (from 178 to 119 cases), commercial premises (from 386 to 333 cases) and private residential premises (from 171 to 120 cases). Break-ins at childcare/education centres, a key concern for the past few years, also fell from 62 to 30 cases in 2007.
In addition, Police also arrested 18 serial offenders in 2007 who were responsible for more than 170 cases of housebreaking. A Police-community partnership in this area is the initiative where portable window and door alarms were installed at family service centres and education centres. Upon hearing the alarm, community watch groups on the floors above these premises would call Police immediately.
Commercial crimes
Commercial crimes comprising mainly of cheating and related offences registered 3,489 cases in 2007, compared to the 3,159 cases in 2006. The increase is attributed to different variations of cheating phone scams using the lucky draw/lottery, kidnap and impersonation of court officials/police officers ruse. Such phone scams, practically unheard of in 2006, claimed 378 victims who lost $4.6m in 2007.
Crimes against persons
Crimes against persons registered 4,084 cases in 2007, compared to the 4,103 cases in 2006. This category refers to crimes where the victim is an individual and suffers bodily harm as a result of the crime. It includes offences such as murder, rioting, rape and outrage of modesty among others.
There were 18 murders in 2007, compared to 17 in 2006, all of which were isolated and unrelated. All, except one, were solved. Excluding statutory rape cases, rape fell from 80 in 2006 to 72 in 2007.

1 Theft and related crimes include other theft, theft in dwelling (others), shop theft, theft of bicycle, theft from person, etc and also includes the index crimes motor vehicle theft and snatch theft.

2 Crime classes refer to the six crime classes of crimes against persons, violent property crimes, housebreaking and related crimes, theft and related crimes, commercial crimes and miscellaneous crimes.

3 Refers to victims who were aged 60 years and above.

4 Refers to persons aged 7 to 19 years.

Source: News Release 11 Jan 2008

Related Article:
- Singapore Crime Situation 2006

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