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     Singapore Crime Situation 2005

Continued from FrontPage of Article

Index Crimes

Cheating and related offences5 increased by 248 cases, from 2,804 to 3052 cases in 2005. The increase was mainly attributed to Criminal Breach of Trust (CBT) cases which rose from 1,065 to 1,295 cases in 2005 (+230 cases). Most of these cases involved dishonest employees who stole cash or items from their employers (from 516 to 616 cases) and culprits who pretended to borrow handphones from victims but failed to return them (from 223 to 303 cases). Cases where elderly victims6 had fallen prey to cheating scams also rose from 105 to 130 cases (+25 cases).

Housebreaking increased by 228 cases, from 1,237 to 1,465 cases in 2005. The overall increases could be attributed to more break-ins at HDB (from 314 to 401 cases) and private residential premises (from 134 to 198 cases), as well as childcare/ education centres (from 58 to 73 cases) and coffeeshops (from 65 to 116 cases). There were 23 serial housebreakers arrested for a total of 257 cases in 2005, compared to 28 serial housebreakers arrested for 208 cases in 2004.

Motor vehicle theft decreased by 59 cases, from 1,117 to 1,058 cases in 2005. More than two-thirds were motorcycles (756 cases), while cars and lorries made up 103 cases and 78 cases of the vehicles stolen respectively.

Outraging of modesty increased by 212 cases, from 1,096 to 1,308 cases in 2005. About 25% of outraging of modesty cases took place at common areas of HDB blocks, such as lift/lift landing, void deck, staircase/staircase landing. This is similar to the situation last year. Cases involving contacts via internet and telephone chat lines increased from 10 to 14 cases in 2005.

Robbery increased by 263 cases, from 829 to 1,092 cases in 2005. The main concerns for robbery were the rise in the number of handphone robberies (from 344 to 488 cases) as well as the related concern of robberies involving youth victims (from 199 to 255 cases) and culprits (from 166 to 204 cases).

Snatch theft increased by 203 cases, from 429 to 632 cases in 2005. The increase was mainly attributed to cases where handphones were taken (from 162 to 283 cases). There was an increase in snatch theft cases involving youth victims (from 81 to 136 cases) and culprits (from 58 to 77 cases). Seven out of every 10 youth victims of snatch theft cases were targeted for their handphones.

Rioting7 increased by 127 cases, from 362 to 489 cases in 2005. There was an increase in the number of cases that took place at common areas of HDB blocks (from 73 to 106 cases) and along the streets in public housing estates (from 26 to 54 cases). Consistent with previous years, youths were involved in 42% (205 cases) of rioting cases. Of these, 121 cases involved youth culprits and youth victims.

Rape increased by 21 cases, from 103 to 124 cases in 2005. Almost all cases involved culprits who were known to victims. There was an increase in cases involving victims who met the culprits via internet and telephone chat lines, from 5 cases in 2004 to 13 cases in 2005.

Murder increased by 2 cases, from 19 to 21 cases in 2005. All these cases were isolated and unrelated. Seventeen cases were crimes of passion8 committed mainly as a result of disputes between known parties.

Handphone Crime

Robbery and theft cases involving handphones taken remain a key area of concern for the Police. The number of such cases increased significantly by 1,414 cases, from 3,411 to 4,825 cases in 2005. Handphone crimes increased most notably for theft in dwelling (excluding shop theft) from 832 to 1,119 cases (+287 cases), and for other thefts (from 1,096 to 1,837 cases in 2005). Robbery (from 344 to 488 cases), snatch thefts (from 162 to 283 cases) and cheating and related offences (from 275 to 343 cases) also saw notable increases. The increase in handphone crime may be due to the rise in mobile phone penetration rate9 in Singapore indicating a larger pool of potential victims.

Youths Arrested For Crime

A total of 4,594 youths were arrested for crime in 2005, as compared to 5,010 in 2004. They accounted for 22% of the total persons arrested, a decrease from the 26% in 2004, but still slightly higher than the proportion of the youth population in Singapore (15%).

The three most common offences committed continued to be: shop theft (1423 persons or 31%), other theft (767 persons or 17%) and rioting (483 persons or 11%). Every 7 out of 10 youths arrested were males (3,339 persons).

Foreigners Arrested For Crime

The number of foreigners arrested for crime decreased marginally by 2 persons to 2,700 persons in 2005. They accounted for about 13% of the total persons arrested, compared to 14% in 2004. More than half (1,483 persons or 55%) of the foreigners were arrested for theft and related offences, with shop theft accounting for 31% of the arrests.

Public-Assisted Arrests10 For Selected Major Offences

Members of public contributed to the arrest of 824 criminals involved in outraging of modesty, housebreaking, robbery, motor vehicle theft, snatch theft, murder and rape. These public-assisted arrests accounted for 42% of the total arrests in these crimes for 2005, higher than the 39% recorded in 2004.

Arrests Made By Police

The number of persons arrested for overall crime increased by 1,824 persons (+9.5%), from 19,284 to 21,108 persons in 2005. In particular, more persons were arrested for theft in dwelling from 5,825 to 6,644 persons (+819 persons), of which arrests for shop theft made up 84% (5,573 persons). Arrests for other thefts increased from 2,123 to 2,263 persons (+140 persons), while that for housebreaking increased from 283 to 381 persons (+98 persons).

Conclusion

Police will continue to work in close partnership with the community so that they can be our eyes and ears to ensure that Singapore remains safe. This Police-community partnership is even more important in this current global security climate where the whole community of Singapore will need to address challenges posed by both security and crime.

Cases Recorded For Index Crimes 2004 And 2005

YEAR
 
2005
2004
+/- % change
OFFENCE
       
OVERALL CRIME CASES
36,704
30,623
+6081
+19.9%
Cheating & Related Offences
3052
2804
248
+8.8%
Housebreaking
1465
1,237
228
+18.4%
Motor Vehicle Theft
1058
1,117
-59
-5.3%
Outraging Modesty
1308
1,096
212
+19.3%
Robbery
1092
829
263
+31.7%
Snatch Theft
632
429
203
+47.3%
Rioting
489
362
127
+35.1%
Rape
124
103
21
+20.4%
Murder
21
19
2
+10.5%

 

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5 Cheating and related offences include cheating, criminal breach of trust, counterfeiting of currency, falsification of accounts, forgery, etc.

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

7 Rioting refers to fighting involving five or more persons.

8 Crimes of passion refer to non-premeditated offences that occur in the heat of the moment arising from immediate instigating factors such as disputes ranging from money matters, personal/ family matters, work-related, boy-girl relationship, misunderstanding, etc.

9 Infocommunications Development Authority (IDA), Singapore listed the handphone penetration rate in Singapore as 97.8% in Dec 2005.

10 Public-assisted arrests refer to cases where the public had provided information, made a citizen¨s arrest, or alerted the police to a crime in progress.

Source: www.spf.gov.sg 16 Feb 2006