Crime rate drops, online love scams hit all-time high

Internet love scams hit an all-time high last year, but the overall crime rate went down by 2.6 per cent.
Internet love scams hit an all-time high last year, but the overall crime rate went down by 2.6 per cent.PHOTO: TNP FILE

Although Internet love scams hit an all-time high last year, the overall crime rate went down by 2.6 per cent.

This came largely because of a decrease in four crime classes, namely violent or serious property crimes, housebreaking and related crimes, theft and related crimes and commercial crimes, the police said at an annual crime briefing yesterday.

The overall crime rate per 100,000 population decreased from 611 in 2015 to 588 cases last year, the lowest in the past three years. But Internet scams remain of concern, with one victim of a love scam losing $1.7 million. Police warned people to be vigilant to avoid falling prey to such cons.

In recent years, law enforcement has used technology such as police cameras and in-vehicle cameras to help fight crime and to provide useful leads into investigations for cases such as unlicensed moneylending, harassment and robberies.

Tan Tam Mei

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 11, 2017, with the headline 'Crime rate drops, online love scams hit all-time high'. Print Edition | Subscribe