In 2017, overall crime in Singapore fell by 1% to 32,773 cases. We remain one of the safest cities in the world with an overall crime rate of 584 cases per 100,000 population in 2017 compared to 590 cases per 100,000 population in 2016. Notably, based on records by the Police, Singapore enjoyed 320 days free from snatch theft, 300 days free from robbery, and 237 days free from housebreaking!
The overall decrease in crime last year was mainly due to reductions in the number of Violent/Serious Property Crimes and Theft and Related Crimes. For instance, robbery cases declined sharply by 26.0% to 71 cases in 2017. Unfortunately, as Singaporeans become more wired up and reliant on the internet for work, study and leisure, crimes have also quickly shifted online. The total amount cheated for Internet Love Scams jumped by 54.2% to $37 million in 2017 from $24 million in 2016. One of the victims lost close to $6 million. Another scam of concern was Chinese officials impersonation scam. The total amount cheated in 2017 was $12.5 million from 186 cases.
NCPC’s national level anti-scam campaign started in 2014. With Singaporeans still being cheated of millions of dollars, the Council intensified its public education efforts in 2017 with the “Vote the Most Unpopular Scammer” campaign. To reach out to the younger and more connected population, we also collaborated with popular online content providers to produce a series of ‘edu-taining’ videos and memes. Initiatives to engage the public and increase awareness were carried out all year round as scammers were always finding different ways to prey on the innocent.
Another important programme in 2017 was Delta League. During the school holidays in June and December, we engaged thousands of youths through football and educated them on crimes and social responsibility. In total, there were 117 teams (including 16 Girls’ teams) competing in 367 matches and taking part in meaningful activities. NCPC is grateful to the Police and community partners for giving tremendous support to the league.
As a small non-profit organisation, NCPC is dependent on the unwavering support from the community, our stakeholders and sponsors. By forging strong alliances and building longstanding partnerships, we will continue to roll out plans to keep Singapore safe and secure for all.
MR GERALD SINGHAM
JP, BBM, PBM
National Crime Prevention Council