Despite a continuous downfall in violent crimes, the crime rate related to gaming and economic activities was on the rise in Macao, said a police chief in Macao Wednesday.
As new casinos were opened one after another, the gaming business has been bringing an enormous pressure to the policy force in maintaining the city's security, admitted Wong Sio Chak, director of the Judicial Police in a work review with media.
The police chief said that the bureau received 823 reports of crimes happened in casinos in 2004, which nearly doubled that of the previous year. The crimes were mainly related to offering usury to gamblers. Judicial police arrested 97 suspects in tackling the crimes.
The bureau's statistics showed that the crime rate in 2004 increased by 16.5 percent from 2003 to 7,333. The number of violent crimes, however, dropped from 488 to 344 cases during last year.
"The dramatic increase in passenger flow and entertainment business was attributable to the rise in the crime rate," said Wong.
He added that the bureau needs an urgent recruitment of policemen to aid surveillance of casinos this year.
He also pledged an intensified cooperation with police in neighboring regions, especially Hong Kong and Guangdong, in the exchange of information and joint operation.