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     FrontPage Edition: Fri 9 March 2007

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Singapore Crime Situation 2006


Crime Situation for Jan-Dec 2006

The crime situation has improved significantly in 2006. Overall crime reported in 2006 fell by 10% when compared to 2005, from 37,093 to 33,393 cases.
All of the 9 index crimes1 registered decreases in 2006 from 2005, with the most significant decreases noted for rioting and the property offences of housebreaking, motor vehicle theft and robbery.
Theft and related offences 2, which accounted for more than half (61%) of overall crime reported, fell by 2,192 cases from 22,711 to 20,519 cases in 2006. The overall decrease was largely due to fewer cases of shop theft, theft from person and other theft3 . In addition, handphone crimes4 also dropped from 4,825 to 4,594 cases.
The total number of persons arrested decreased by 12% from 21,970 to 19,273. As in past years, foreigners made up 14% of those arrested.
Youths made up 19% of total persons arrested in 2006, compared to 23% last year. About 4 in 10 arrests involving selected major offences5 were made with the assistance of the public.
Cheating and related offences6 decreased from 3,052 to 2,917 cases in 2006. There were decreases across cheating and related offences, with a significant drop noted for handphone-related criminal breach of trust cases from 303 to 231 cases.
Most of these cases involved culprits who pretended to borrow handphones from victims then failed to return them. Cases targeting elderly victims also fell from 134 to 94 cases.
Outraging of Modesty (OM) dropped by 28 cases, from 1,308 to 1,280 cases. About one out of four outraging of modesty cases took place at common areas of HDB blocks, such as lift/lift landing, void deck, staircase/staircase landing. Cases involving contacts via Internet and telephone chat lines dropped from 14 to 12 cases in 2006.
Housebreaking decreased by 342 cases, from 1,465 to 1,123 cases in 2006. The large overall decrease could be attributed to fewer break-ins at HDB residences (from 401 to 253 cases), coffeeshops (from 111 to 47 cases), private residential premises (from 198 to 171 cases) as well as childcare/education centres (from 73 to 62 cases).
Robbery fell by 146 cases from 1,092 to 946 cases. The number of handphone robberies (from 488 to 441 cases) as well as the related concerns of robberies involving youth victims (from 252 to 211 cases) and youth culprits (from 204 to 145 cases) have decreased. However, the number of robberies targeting elderly victims increased from 51 to 63 cases in 2006.
Motor vehicle theft decreased by 158 cases from 1,058 to 900 cases in 2006. The decrease was attributed to a drop in the number of motorcycles stolen (from 756 to 647 cases). Three quarters of the motor vehicle theft cases occurred overnight and were mainly committed at carparks in public housing estates.
Snatch Theft decreased by 40 cases, from 632 to 592 cases in 2006. Similar to robbery, there was a drop in cases where handphones were stolen (from 283 to 264 cases) as well as cases involving youth victims (from 136 to 89 cases). However, there were more snatch theft cases involving youth culprits (from 77 to 87 cases) as well as cases with elderly victims (from 102 to 106 cases).
Rioting dropped by 128 cases, from 489 to 361 cases in 2006. Decreases were noted for cases that took place along the streets (from 142 to 81 cases) and at common areas of HDB blocks (from 106 to 82 cases). This corresponds to the drop in the number of rioting cases involving youth culprits, which fell by 68 cases, from 205 to 137 cases. Of these, 111 cases involved youth culprits and youth victims.
Rape dropped by 6 cases from 124 to 118 cases in 2006. Almost all rape cases involved offenders who were known to the victims. Cases involving contacts via the Internet and telephone chatlines also decreased from 13 to 5 cases.
Murder fell by 4 cases, from 21 to 17 cases in 2006. All 17 murders have been solved. They were isolated and unrelated. Of these, thirteen cases were crimes of passion7, committed as a result of dispute between known parties.
1 Index crimes refer to the 9 offences of cheating and related offences, housebreaking, motor vehicle theft, outraging of modesty, robbery, snatch theft, rioting, rape and murder. They were selected for their reliability and higher reporting rates.

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

3 Other theft refers to offences under Sec 379 of the Penal Code Cap 224, excluding theft of bicycles, theft from motor vehicles and theft from persons.

4 Refers to cases where handphones or handphones and other items were taken for cases of theft from vehicle, theft from person, shop theft, theft in dwelling, cheating and related offences, robbery, housebreaking, snatch theft, theft as a servant and other theft under Sec379 of Penal Code Cap 224.

5 These major offences include murder, rape, outraging modesty, robbery, housebreaking, motor vehicle theft and snatch theft.

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

7 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.

Source: News Release 1 Feb 2007

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