Overall law and order situation in the first half of 2017 sees continuous improvement
Speaking at a press conference today (July 26) to review the crime situation in the territory between January and June this year, Mr Au said a total of 28,309 cases of crime were recorded during the period, representing a decrease of 1,233 cases or 4.2 per cent over the corresponding period of last year, hitting a new low after 1979.
There were a total of 4,503 violent crime cases recorded in the first half of this year, a decrease of 8.9 per cent when compared with the same period of last year.
Crimes with the number of cases rises included rape, indecent assault, deception and missing motor vehicles.
There were 32 rape cases in the first half of 2017, an increase of two cases over the same period of last year. Twenty-eight cases were committed by acquaintances. Eight cases involved victims aged under 16. Twenty-nine cases were detected with detection rate over 90 per cent.
In the first half of 2017, there were 518 indecent assault cases, being an increase of 33 cases over the same period of last year, and the detection rate was near 80 per cent. The victims of 10 cases acquainted the offenders via the Internet, a rise of 67 per cent over the corresponding period of last year.
Police attach great importance to sex crimes. Police will keep strengthening patrol; step up publicity and education to raise the self-protection awareness of the public, especially youngsters.
There were 3,561 cases of deception in the first half of this year, an increase of 193 cases compared with the same period of last year. The rise was mainly driven by online business fraud which totalled 1,076 cases, a rise of 34.8 per cent, and involved a loss of $16 million.
The resurgence of street deception was noted. In the first half of this year, there were 54 cases, being a rise of five folds; and the pecuniary loss rose by 6 folds to $5.8 million. Seventy per cent of the cases involved spiritual blessing.
In the first half of this year, there were 443 telephone deception cases, a rise of 33 cases compared with the same period of last year; the pecuniary loss rose by 37.6 per cent to $147.25 million. "Pretend officials" remained the major modus operandi, which recorded a rise of 66.5 per cent and totalled 293 cases. Sixty per cent of the victims of the "pretend officials" deception aged 30 or below, over 30 per cent of the victims were mainlanders staying in Hong Kong for study or work, or visiting relatives.
Police hosted the "Anti-Telephone Deception Week" in May this year. Renowned artists were invited to be the Anti-Telephone Deception Ambassadors. New anti-telephone deception promotion videos were also broadcast in the MTR, buses, public housing estates, etc. Police will also organise anti-telephone deception seminars for students of various tertiary institutions, especially for those who come from the overseas.
Mr Au added, "For the better co-ordination of resources in the Force to strengthen the efforts in combating telephone deception and enhance the anti-deception awareness among members of the public, Commercial Crime Bureau set up the Anti Deception Coordination Centre and a round-the-clock 'Anti Deception Hotline 18222' for public enquiry. Police will closely monitor the operation and performance of the Centre, and conduct review and adjustment so as to curb the surging trend of deception."
There were 262 missing motor vehicle in the first half of 2017, being an increase of 80 vehicles compared with the same period of last year. The rise was mainly stemmed from missing motorcycles.
Crimes with the number of cases dropped included robbery, homicide, burglary, serious drug offences, technology crimes, etc.
In the first six months of 2017, there were 90 cases of robbery, a drop of 50 cases over the same period of last year. No genuine firearm was involved in robbery in the said period.
There were 11 homicide cases in the first half of this year, a decrease of four cases over the same period of last year. Ten cases were detected. Most of the cases were triggered by relationship and family problems, land ownership disputes, grudges among neighbours and disputes that arising from various reasons.
There were 978 burglary cases, a drop of 228 cases or 18.9 per cent compared with the same period of last year.
There were 836 serious drug cases (down 4 per cent) in the first six months of 2017. In the period concerned, Police smashed a number of drug trafficking cases, including two large-scale cannabis plantations. Although youths arrested for serious drug offences dropped by 32.6 per cent to 118 persons, Police will keep enhancing publicity and enforcement efforts, especially during the summer holiday.
Technology crime also recorded with a decline. There were 2,743 cases (down 7.2 per cent) in the first six months of 2017. The decline was mainly attributed to the decrease in "naked chat" blackmail.
Nonetheless, romance scams recorded a resurge. There were 78 cases in the first half of this year, a rise of 31 cases or 66 per cent, and the pecuniary loss involved was about $36 million.
On June 21 this year, Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau partnered with three renowned anti-virus software companies and a number of public organisations and universities to launch the "Cyber Security Campaign" that will last for a year. Virus scanning tools is provided by the anti-virus software companies and available for members of the public to download for free, cyber security preventive measures are promoted, and cyber security seminars are organised for schools and the public sector to enhance their cyber security awareness.
Mr Au also talked about some other crimes of interest.
There were 850 triad-related crimes (down 6.1 per cent) in the first half of 2017, constituted 3 per cent of the total number of crime cases and mainly involved wounding and serious assault, serious drug offences, and unlawful society offences.
In the first half of this year, there were 703 domestic violence (crime) cases (down 3.4 per cent); and 5,353 cases of domestic incidents of minor nature with no violence (down 2.7 per cent).
There were 1,405 youths being arrested for crimes in the first half of 2017, a drop of 22.4 per cent compared with the same period of last year. They were mainly arrested for shop theft, wounding and serious assault, and miscellaneous theft.
"In conclusion, the law and order situation continuous sustainable improvement. A downward trend was observed for common crimes such as robbery, serious drug offences and burglary. Police will continue to take effective measures to prevent and combat them, including stepping up patrol and strengthening intelligence-led enforcement actions.
"Prevent is always the best way to combat telephone deception, email scam and social media deception. Police will continue to pay close attention to the new modus operandi and trend, and timely alert the public. Members of the public are advised to stay alert and consult Police via the '18222' hotline if in doubt. Remember: 'Don't be fooled; one eight triple two'," said Mr Au.
The summer holiday begins and it is also the job-hunting season for graduates. Mr Au appealed to the public, especially the youngsters, “Do not carry suspicious or illegal articles for monetary rewards; do not lend bank accounts to others or subscribe bank accounts for others; do not recklessly sign contracts with or for others; and do not proceed with any advance payments regarding any allegedly lucrative jobs.
"There is no job making easy money in the real world. On the contrary, there are fraudsters preying on young job seekers. When looking for jobs, youngsters are reminded to stay alert and think twice. Most importantly, do not being lured by culprits to commit crimes. Otherwise, you will not only incur monetary loss but may cause you regret for life. Feel suspicious, youngsters are advised to discuss with family members and report to the Police as soon as possible when necessary."
Ends/Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Issued at HKT 21:29
Issued at HKT 21:29