SINGAPORE: The number of cases involving outrage of modesty rose last year, though the overall crime situation improved, with cases involving housebreaking, violent property crimes and murder falling to a 20—year low.
According to the latest crime statistics from the police, there were 596 housebreaking crimes in 2012 — down from 706 in 2011.
For violent property crimes — which includes robbery, voluntarily causing hurt and kidnapping — the number of cases dropped from 443 in 2011 to 391 in 2012.
The last time housebreaking and violent property crimes saw such low figures was in 2011.
The number of murder cases fell from 16 in 2011 to 11 in 2012.
Police said overall, the total number of crime cases reported last year fell two per cent to 30,868 cases.
Other improvements included a significant drop in harassment cases involving unlicensed money lending. The number of cases fell by 2,788 or 24 per cent to 8,988 in 2012.
But police also highlighted some areas of concern, one of them being outrage of modesty on buses and trains.
Last year, the number jumped by 39 cases to 153, a 34 per cent rise from 2011.
Police said they have patrolled train network and bus interchanges regularly.
Superintendent Raymond Chong, who is the Singapore Police Force’s assistant director for community involvement, said: "Police have been increasing our public education efforts, we have been putting up public—education posters on buses and trains to remind the public to be more vigilant against such crimes."
The figures did not come as a surprise to the Association of Women for Action & Research (AWARE). A spokesperson said Singapore is becoming an increasingly sexualised society.
She said AWARE has seen sexual violence increase across the board, from workplace sexual harassment to rape.
"If you happen to be an unfortunate victim of outrage of modesty, please call for help, try to attract as much attention as possible, so that we can get members of public to help detain the perpetrator and call for police," Superintendent Raymond Chong advised.
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