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Thursday, July 28, 2016, 00:22

HK reports fall in crime in first half

By Li Yinze

HONG KONG - The SAR saw an overall decline in crimes during the first half of this year, but robberies and domestic violence cases are rising, police reported on Wednesday.

The crime figures in the first half of 2016 dropped to 29,542 cases, a decrease of 13.2 percent when compared with 34,034 cases during the first half of 2015, representing a record low in the past 37 years.

About 403 criminal acts were reported per 100,000 population, a new low since half-year crime records began in 1977, said Director of Crime and Security Sonny Au Chi-kwong.

The first half of this year saw a sharp drop in deception cases, including internet and telephones scams, down by 30.9 percent to 3,368 cases compared with 4,875 in the first half of 2015.

However, in the first six months of this year, 47 reported online romance scammers stole more than HK$36 million from victims, most of whom are females with high academic qualifications, while compensated dating crimes rose to more than 300 cases.

Au said some crimes were perpetrated by phone or online from overseas. These fraudsters kept changing their modes of operation, making it difficult for police to detect such crimes.

There were a total of 728 cases of domestic violence crimes recorded in the first six months of 2016, a rise of 5.5 percent compared with 690 cases the same period in 2015.

The figures also showed crimes involving arrests of youths aged between 10 and 20 dropped to 1,810 cases, a decline for the seventh consecutive year from 4,900 cases in the first half of 2009.

Asked about the Mong Kok riot earlier this year, Director of Operations Alan Lau Yip-shing described it as one of the most brutal and barbaric acts of violence since 1997.

A review of the police’s handling of the riot is ongoing. Preliminary recommendations have been made with regard to police training. This includes the purchase of more riot gear and protective equipment and dispatching tactics instructors to assist frontline commanders to formulate strategies in the event of similar incidents in future.

yinzeli@chinadailyhk.com

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