Good news: The overall number of crimes reported in Singapore has fallen in the first half of the year.
Bad news: The number of bicycle thefts has risen precipitously and is an area of concern to police.
The total number of crimes reported in the first half of the year fell by 2.3 per cent to 15,576 cases, compared to 15,944 cases over the same period last year.
However, the number of bicycle thefts shot up by an astounding 52.8 per cent to 752 cases, compared to just 492 cases reported in the same period last year.
The figures were revealed in the police mid-year crime brief released yesterday.
The report said that the most common areas where bicycles were reported stolen were common corridors and void decks of Housing Board blocks, and bicycle bays at MRT stations.
The police said that they are partnering town councils to install enhanced bicycle racks, and are engaging cycling interest groups to spread the anti- theft message.
They are also working with transport operators SMRT and SBS Transit to install more closed-circuit TV cameras at MRT stations' bicycle bays, said the report.
The report cited thefts in dwellings - or those which take place in residential units or corridors, dormitories, or on commercial premises - as another area of concern.
Such thefts rose by 8 per cent - or 161 cases - to 2,171 cases in the first six months of the year, compared to 2,010 cases in the same period last year.
The police also said that since January, there has been a spate of more than 20 thefts where the "fishing" method was used. This involves culprits using poles and other objects to steal items placed near unsecured windows of HDB flats along common corridors.
The report added that HDB and the police are exploring measures such as the inclusion of crime advisories in welcome packages given to new home owners. It also urged residents to take simple precautionary measures against opportunistic criminals, such as not leaving mobile phones, laptops, handbags and other valuables near windows which are accessible to outsiders.
The police also emphasised their "continuing concern" over unlicensed moneylending activities involving youth aged between seven and 19.
They noted that 109 youth were arrested for loan shark-related activities in the first six months of this year - 14 more than those arrested in the same period last year.
Fifty-seven youth - or slightly more than half of those arrested - were recruited by loan sharks to commit acts of harassment.
The rest helped loan-shark syndicates by providing bank accounts to facilitate illicit activities and distributed flyers to advertise on behalf of loan sharks.
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