Overall law and order situation remained stable in the first half of 2012
Hong Kong (HKSAR) - The overall law and order situation in the first six months of 2012 remained stable with a slight increase of 0.4 per cent in the overall crime figure, according to the Police Director of Crime and Security, Mr Lo Wai-chung.
Speaking at a press conference today (August 2) to review the crime situation in the territory between January and June this year, Mr Lo said that during the period, a total of 37,584 cases of crime were recorded, representing a slight increase of 0.4 per cent when compared with 37,443 cases in the first half of 2011.
There were a total of 6,454 violent crime cases recorded in the first half of this year, a slight increase of about 0.3 per cent when compared with the corresponding period last year.
Mr Lo said the crimes with the number of cases on the rise included deception (up 13.5 per cent), criminal damage (up 7 per cent), pickpocketing (up 8.2 per cent), and miscellaneous thefts (up 0.6 per cent).
There were 3,260 cases of deception in the first half of 2012, a rise of 389 cases or 13.5 per cent when compared with the same period of 2011. More increases were seen in telephone deception, e-mail scam and online business fraud.
In the first half of 2012, there were 1,216 cases of telephone deception, an increase of 411 cases or 51.1 per cent when compared with the same period of 2011.Tactics employed by culprits mainly included ¡§Detained Son¡¨ and ¡§Guess Who¡¨.To target against the trend, Police had stepped up intelligence-led enforcement operation, resulting in the detection of 10 ¡§Detained Son¡¨ related cases, with the arrest of seven mainlanders in the first half of 2012.
Police received 310 reported cases of email scam in the first six months of 2012, among which 169 cases involving commercial level with losses amounting to $64.16 million, a rise of 140 cases or five-fold when compared with 29 in the same period of 2011.
¡§As commercial dealings often involved vast amount of money, commercial email scams inflicted considerable amount of pecuniary losses. Analysis showed that nearly 50 per cent of the victims were Hong Kong companies,¡¨ Mr Lo said.
¡§To target against the upward trend of commercial email scams, a task force has been formed by Commercial Crime Bureau in March 2012 to secure coordination and fight related crimes. By making comprehensive analysis, tracking origins of emails and taking enforcement actions, Police arrested eight people and frozen accounts belonging to fraudsters with proceeds of crimes amounting to $17 million.¡¨
As regards email scam on personal level, modus operandi varies.It includes the use of conventional telephone deception tricks on the Internet in which fraudsters assumed the victims¡¦ names or made fraudulent use of the victims¡¦ email accounts to send fictitious emails to their relatives to cheat them out of money.There were 141 cases of email scam on personal level in the first half of 2012, an increase of 70 cases or 98.6 per cent when compared with 71 in the same period of last year, and victims lost several hundred dollars to tens of thousand dollars.
¡§Police will monitor the latest trend of technology crime and disseminate crime prevention messages to small and medium business enterprises through different channels and by cross-sector and multi-agency cooperation.We will also remind the public of the modus operandi of deception cases via ¡¥Police Report¡¦ programme and the media,¡¨ Mr Lo added.
The first half of 2012 also saw a total of 485 online business fraud cases, an increase of 94 cases over the same period of 2011.324 cases were in relation to online auction/shopping.
There were 3,666 reports of criminal damage in the first six months of 2012, an increase of 239 cases or 7 per cent over the same period of 2011.Over half of the cases were committed out of vandalism or for unknown intentions.
Among them, 101 of the cases involved properties, which were mainly election posters or publicity boards, of political parties or councillors being damaged. There was no indication of any organised act against any individual political party.
As regards pickpocketing, a total of 831 cases were recorded in the first half of 2012, an increase of 63 cases or 8.2 per cent when compared with the same period of 2011.Cash and mobile phones were main targets of such cases. There saw a marked rise in the number of mobile phones stolen as it was believed that mobile phones could be easily reached and resold for profits.
Police had stepped up prevention publicity, enforcement action and patrol at black spots to combat the crime.
Miscellaneous thefts increased by 54 cases to 9,837 cases, a rise of 0.6 per cent when compared with the same period of 2011. Among these, more than 70 per cent of such cases or 7,359 cases involved inadequate attention on properties, an increase of 558 cases over the same period of 2011.There were a total of 1,140 cases involving theft of money from octopus card, credit card, ATM card, an increase of 60 cases over the same period last year.
Mr Lo noted that crimes such as shop theft(down 10.2 per cent), missing motor-vehicles (down 28.3 per cent), burglary (down 4.9 per cent), and robbery (down 23.9 per cent) all recorded a decrease.
The first half of 2012 saw a total of 2,141 burglary cases, a decrease of 111 cases or 4.9 per cent when compared with the same period of 2011. 544 cases were committed at non-domestic premises, which accounted for 25 per cent of the overall total.The figure represented a decrease of 282 cases when compared with the same period of 2011.There were however 1,597 cases committed at domestic premises, accounting for 75 per cent of the overall total, and representing an increase of 171 cases over the same period of 2011.
Mr Lo also took the opportunity to talk about homicide, wounding and serious assault, serious drug offences and youth involvement in crime.
A total of 15 homicide cases were recorded, an increase of 114.3 per cent or eight cases when compared with the same period of 2011.Five of the cases were family or domestic violence related, one was robbery related and two were manslaughter cases while the others were mainly caused by disputes.
As for the only undetected case, Police have already identified the suspect and will take all efforts to bring the culprit to justice.
In the first half of 2012, 3,407 cases of wounding and serious assault were recorded, representing an increase of 47 cases or 1.4 per cent when compared with the same period of 2011.
Serious drug cases totalled 1,061, a rise of two cases or 0.2 per cent when compared with the same period of 2011.Cases involved ice and Cocaine were on the rise.There saw decreases in serious drug cases involving Heroin, Ketamine and Cannabis.Around 70 per cent of the overall serious drug offences involved synthetic drugs (including ice, Ketamine, ecstasy and other psychotropic drugs).
In the first half of 2012, the drug seizures in Ketamine and Cannabis respectively rose by 402 kg (around 2.6 fold increase) and 113 kg (around 14 fold increase). Most seizures of Ketamine and Cannabis were made at control points and they were believed to be transported to other countries via Hong Kong.
A total of 3,462 juveniles and youngsters were arrested for crime in the first half of 2012, a drop of 505 persons or 12.7 per cent as compared with the same period last year. Most of them were arrested for shop theft, miscellaneous thefts, wounding and serious assault.
In conclusion, Mr Lo said that Police would continue monitoring all crime trends closely and pay particular attention to combat those crimes with the number of cases on the rise.
" Moreover, since young people will spend more time to access the internet, go outside for entertainment or find summer job during the summer holiday, they may become victims of various crimes or being exploited for engaging in criminal activities.
In view of such situation, Police have formulated related publicity plans and enforcement operations in combating employment fraud, youth involvement in drug related offences and sexual offences."
"Police have also held crime prevention seminars in schools before summer vacation and will organise the JPC (Junior Police Call) Fight Crime Summer Camp 2012 during summer vacation to strengthen youngsters¡¦ awareness to beat drugs and Internet crimes," he added.
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