Crime in Singapore

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In Singapore, crime rates are some of the lowest in the world. As of 2016, the greatest domestic vice concern remains as commercial offences over the Internet, with a 47 percent increase between 2014 and 2015.

In December 2013, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said: "I don’t think that is fair or justifiable because their (foreign workers) crime rates are, in fact, lower than Singaporeans in general." In January 2014, Mrs Lina Chiam of Singapore People's Party asked in Parliament, the breakdown of crimes committed by Singaporeans, permanent residents and foreigners respectively between 2009 and 2013. Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean replied that during the period, more than 18,000 persons were arrested each year. Of which, 20% were foreigners with arrest rate of 272 per 100,000 foreigners, while the arrest rate for residents was 385 per 100,000 residents. No breakdown between Singaporeans and permanent residents was given.[1]

Police statistics released in the year 2016 suggested a four per cent increase in overall crime with 33,608 cases from a population of more than five million. Between the year 2014 and 2015, there was an observed statistical decrease in violent or serious property offenses, housebreaking, theft and unlicensed moneylending harassment.

However, there was a noteworthy increase in awareness about scamming in 2015.[2] From just 66 credit-for-sex scams in 2014, the number increased to 1,203 within 2015, with the reported victims being cheated a total of around S$2.9 million. The largest amount of money scammed include S$74,000 in a single case. A fraud syndicate was busted in China[3] during December 2015 when a total of 43 were arrested from scams operated from Wechat call centres in China.[4]

During the same period, internet love scams where women were the primary target, also rose from 198 in 2014 to 383 in 2015, involving around S$12 million in total. The largest amount of money cheated include S$528,000 in a single case.

E-commerce cheating cases increased by about 30 per cent between 2014 and 2015.[5] Noted concerns as of 2016 may also include impersonation[6] and employment scams.[7]

As suggested by foreign travel advisory from the United Kingdom, petty crime such as pickpocketing and street theft rarely do occur in Singapore although violent crime is deemed as extremely rare. Threats of terrorism remain a major concern, as is the case with most developed countries,[8] with credit card fraud cases being indicated as another security warning by the United States Department of State.[9] As a constant reminder from western consulars such as the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, penalties for drug offences such as trafficking in Singapore remain severe and include capital punishment for certain cases of possession.[10]

Crime deterrence[edit]

The National Crime Prevention Council of Singapore maintains a web portal Scam Alert that offers scam prevention campaign posters[11] and also encourages victims to come forward to share their stories.[12]

The Neighbourhood Watch Zone scheme was formed in 27 April 1997[13] and today includes the Citizens On Patrol (COP) initiative, which conducts regular foot patrol with community policing.[14] Officers go around each neighbourhood to project police presence and to disseminate crime prevention pamphlet to the residents.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Dormitory warns foreign workers to think of loved ones before committing crimes like molest and robbery". The Independent. Retrieved 2018-12-27.
  2. ^ "Get Rea! 2015 - EP12". SINGAPORES SCAMMERS. Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  3. ^ "CREDIT FOR SEX SCAM: Victims conned into paying for non-existent sexual services". Malaysia Chronicle. 24 January 2016. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  4. ^ Chew, Hui Min. "Chinese police arrest 43 in syndicate targeting Singapore men in credit-for-sex scams". Archived from the original on 17 February 2016. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  5. ^ Lim, Yi Han. "Spike in online scams but overall crime rate still low". Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  6. ^ "Impersonation Scam". Archived from the original on 16 February 2016. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  7. ^ LAW, ELIZABETH. "Teen cons $14,000 out of job seekers". TNP. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  8. ^ "Foreign UK Travel Advice for Terrorism". GOV.UK. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
  9. ^ "Singapore". U.S. Department of State. Archived from the original on 5 January 2015. Retrieved 13 January 2015.
  10. ^ "Singapore". Smartraveller. Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Archived from the original on 23 December 2014. Retrieved 13 January 2015.
  11. ^ "Campaign Posters". Scam Alert Singapore. National Crime Prevention Council (Singapore). Archived from the original on 16 February 2016. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  12. ^ "Your Scam Story is Important to Us!". Scam Alert Singapore. National Crime Prevention Council (Singapore). Archived from the original on 16 February 2016. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  13. ^ "NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH ZONE". Singapore Police Force. Ministry of Home Affairs. Archived from the original on 17 February 2016. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  14. ^ Lee, Denise (15 December 2014). "Citizens on Patrol members commended at Community Policing System roll-out". Archived from the original on 17 December 2014. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  15. ^ Lee, Denise. "Citizens on Patrol: Sentinels of safety in the neighbourhood". Retrieved 13 February 2016.[permanent dead link]

External links[edit]