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Tuesday, January 24, 2017, 17:36

HK records fewest offences in 38 years

By Carrie Qiu

HK records fewest offences in 38 years
Police officers arrive to help process a crime scene where police opened fire on a gang of men fighting in the Yau Ma Tei district of Hong Kong on Oct 2, 2016. (Issac Lawrence/AFP)

HONG KONG - The SAR’s crime figures in 2016 hit a record low since 1978, with an 8.7 percent decline in the number of offences compared with 2015 . Hong Kong remains one of the safest cities in the world, Commissioner of Police Stephen Lo Wai-chung said on Tuesday.

About 825 criminal acts were reported per 100,000 population, a record low in the past 44 years

Stephen Lo, Hong Kong Commissioner of Police

The total number of offences dropped to 60,646 cases in 2016, a decrease of 8.7 percent from 2015 and a record low in the past 38 years.

About 825 criminal acts were reported per 100,000 population, a record low in the past 44 years, said Lo.

Although burglary cases continued to drop in recent years, cases involving financial losses of HK$500,000 or more rose by 70 percent compared with 2015. Lo stressed that over half of the cases involved failure to properly lock windows and doors, insufficient security facilities, long vacation and scaffolding of the buildings.

Police have taken actions to strengthen law enforcement in burglary. Sixteen mainland people involved in 10 burglary cases in Yuen Long were arrested in 2016. Police also arrested three men earlier in January in Yuen Long and found HK$5,000,000 worth of stolen goods, including HK$2,800,000 in cash.

About 70 percent of extortion cases involved blackmailers luring victims to participate in online chatting and take off their clothes . They then threatened to release recorded videos of victims unless they pay for them. The number of such cases dropped by 36.5 percent from 2015 due to strenthened public education and law enforcement.

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The total amount of loss from extortion involving indecency in online chatting was HK$2.4 million, with a 31.4 percent year-on-year decline.

There were 1,138 telephone fraud cases, a 60 percent decrease from 2015, with total loss amounting to HK$220 million, a decrease of over 30 percent year-on-year. The majority of the cases involved scam callers pretending to be government officials, said Lo.

As for online romance scam , there were 114 cases, representing an 84 percent increase from 2015. Total amount of loss was HK$95 million, nearly doubled the amount in 2015. Lo said that the Hong Kong police cracked a Malaysian fraud group during a joint action in December 2016. The group was found to have involved in 73 cases in Hong Kong, said Lo.

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