Overall crime in Singapore rose 7.4 per cent in 2014

A crime alert sign put up by Neighbourhood Police Post (NPCCs) just outside Giant supermarket at Bedok Market Place on May 13, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: AZIZ HUSSIN
A crime alert sign put up by Neighbourhood Police Post (NPCCs) just outside Giant supermarket at Bedok Market Place on May 13, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: AZIZ HUSSIN

SINGAPORE - Overall crime in Singapore rose by 2,212 cases last year, a 7.4 per cent increase from 29,984 cases recorded in 2013.

The Republic's overall crime rate had hit a 30-year low in 2013.

Latest statistics released by the police on Thursday showed the increase was largely due to a surge in cases of cheating involving e-commerce, which increased by more than three times. Last year, there were 1,659 cases as compared to 510 cases in 2013.

The police said the increase is likely due to an increase in the number of Internet users who do online shopping.

Cases of victims lured into making multiple payments online spiked by 236 per cent, from 269 cases in 2013 to 904 last year.

A new type of scam emerged last year, where culprits would ask their victims to buy gift cards or virtual credits. There were 149 such cases reported last year, with $138,700 cheated.

Thirty-nine more youths were arrested for rioting last year, up from 283 in 2013. Overall, the number of youths arrested increased by 2.1 per cent from 3,031 in 2013 to 3,094 last year.

Statutory rape cases also rose by 15 cases from 51 in 2013 to 66 last year. Most offenders were youths who knew the victims.

More outrage of modesty cases happened onboard MRT trains and in open areas, leading to a 3.2 per cent increase to 1,367 cases last year.

Meanwhile, the number of harassment cases stemming from unlicensed moneylending continued to fall, from 7,052 in 2013 to 5,763 last year.

Said deputy commissioner of police (investigations and intelligence) Tan Chye Hee: "Overall crime has increased but our crime rate remains low. Crimes are shifting online and new scams are constantly emerging, with victims falling prey every day.

"On a positive note, the Unlicensed Moneylending and Harassment situation has been improving steadily. The police will continue to raise awareness of scams so that members of public will not fall prey to them. We will also press on with our tough enforcement efforts against unlicensed moneylending-related activities."

joycel@sph.com.sg