HONG KONG, July 30 -- The overall law and order situation of Hong Kong in the first six months of 2014 saw sustainable improvement with a decrease of 6 percent in the overall crime figure which reached a record low since 1980, Police Director of Crime and Security Lo Mung-hung said on Wednesday.
Speaking at a press conference to review the crime situation in the territory between January and June this year, Lo said that during the period, a total of 33,916 cases of crime were recorded, representing a decrease of 6 percent when compared with 36,068 cases in the first half of 2013.
There were a total of 5,418 violent crime cases recorded in the first half of this year, a decrease of 10.8 percent when compared with the corresponding period last year.
Lo said figures of most crimes recorded drops of more than ten percent, including homicide, down 75.5 percent; rape, down 62.7 percent; robbery, down 31 percent.
Though most major crimes had dropped, individual crimes including deception and blackmail recorded rises.
There were 4,372 cases of deception in the first half of 2014, a rise of 787 cases or 22 percent when compared with the same period of 2013. More increases were seen in online business fraud, social media fraud, telephone deception and email scams.
The first half of 2014 also saw a total of 1,180 online business fraud cases, an increase of 530 cases or 82 percent over the same period of 2013. The pecuniary loss rose by nearly 50 per cent to around 26 million HK dollars (about 3.36 million U.S. dollars). Fifty-eight percent of online business fraud involved online auction or shopping while the remaining 42 percent were those relating to online business or credit card misuse.
"A task force was formed by Police earlier and constant operations were launched to target frauds relating to online auction or shopping. In an operation conducted on June 18, Police arrested four people for being connected with 79 cases involving pecuniary loss of 550,000 HK dollars," Lo said.
For social media fraud, there were 466 reported cases in the first half of 2014, an increase of 357 cases or more than three- fold when compared with the 109 cases in the same period of 2013. The pecuniary loss increased by more than one-fold to around 43 million HK dollars. (1 U.S dollar = 7.75 HK dollars)