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HomesingaporeFewer voyeurism cases on public transport but still of concern to police;...

Fewer voyeurism cases on public transport but still of concern to police; theft cases continue rising

SINGAPORE — While the number of voyeurism cases that happened on public transport in the first half of 2023 dropped by a third from the same period last year, voyeurism continues to be a crime of concern, said the Singapore Police Force (SPF) on Friday (Sept 15).

VOYEURISM, MOLESTATION CASES ‘REMAINED STABLE’

According to police data, the number of voyeurism and molestation cases has “remained stable”. They made up 2.2 per cent and 7.5 per cent of all physical crime respectively.

There were 224 voyeurism cases in the first half of last year, almost on par with the same period last year. They mostly happened at residential premises, shopping complexes and the public transport system.

Cases in residents mainly involved perpetrators known to the victims such as boyfriends or ex-boyfriends, household members or fellow tenants.

In particular, voyeurism cases on public transport — which typically involve the taking of upskirt photographs — fell 34 per cent. There were 23 such cases reported, down from 35 in the same period last year.

The police said it will continue to work with public transport stakeholders and the community on measures to improve public education and deter would-be offenders.

Meanwhile, 757 molestation cases were reported in the first half of 2023. More than half of these involved culprits whom the victims knew.

Molestation cases at nightspots also rose as public entertainment returned to normalcy after the pandemic. The number of such cases rose from 36 to 74.

Molestation cases on public transport also increased to 97 in the first half of 2023, compared to 84 in the same period in 2022. This was still lower than pre-pandemic levels, however.

The police said that more advisories cautioning people against committing sexual-related crimes will be placed at MRT trains, train stations and bus interchanges later this year.

MORE THEFT CASES

In terms of shop theft, the number of cases rose to 1,820 in the first half of 2023 from 1,453 in the same period last year. It made up 18.1 per cent of all physical crimes.

As for theft in dwellings on residential and commercial premises, the number of cases rose to 1,010 from 788. It accounted for 10 per cent of all physical crimes.

These two types of theft were also reported to be on the rise last year.

About three-quarters of shop theft cases from January to June this year occurred at retail chains or shops like department stores and supermarkets. Food and beverages, alcoholic drinks, personal care products, accessories and cosmetics were among the items typically stolen.

The police said that it works closely with retailers under the Shop Theft Awareness Retailers (Star) programme to analyse their risk factors and vulnerabilities to theft.

As of June, 175 retail outlets from Sheng Siong supermarket, beauty and health chain Watsons,  and cosmetic retailer Sephora have joined the programme.

Since the relaxation of Covid-19 measures, Mustafa Centre in Little India has also been the victim of more theft cases, said the police. The number of cases increased from 59 in the first half of 2022 to 81 in the same period this year.

Turning to cases of theft in dwellings, there were 497 cases reported at residential premises in the first half of 2023 — up from 417 in the same period last year.

The items typically stolen were cash, jewellery, branded goods and mobile phones.

At commercial premises, the number of cases rose from 208 last year to 306 this year.

The majority of such thefts were committed or suspected to be committed by culprits known to their victims, such as family members or those in a tenant/roommate relationship.

SPF said that everyone can contribute to the safety and security of Singapore including business operators like retail outlet owners and public entertainment operators.

“Family members and friends also play a crucial role in preventing their loved ones from becoming victims of crime. They can do so by being aware of potential threats and cautioning their loved ones about them,” added SPF. CNA

For more reports like this, visit cna.asia.

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