Hong Kong crime rate down overall, but sex and drug offenses up in first half of 2021

By Selina Cheng

Hong Kong police have recorded an overall 4.6 per cent drop in crimes during the first half of 2021 compared with last year, although violent and sexual offences increased by 3.2 per cent. The crime detection rate increased by about 3.5 per cent, to 35.7.

Meanwhile, 117 people have been arrested over suspected breaches of the national security law since its enactment last July, with 64 of them already prosecuted.

Police cordoned off an area on New Reclamation Street. File photo.

The overall drop in criminal cases can be attributed to significant drops in robberies — by 64 per cent to just 67 cases; burglary — by 35.9 per cent, and serious assaults — by 15.7 percent, according to police statistics revealed on Tuesday. Cases of theft also dropped from 10,762 cases to 9,317 cases compared to the first half of last year, a decrease of 13.4 per cent.

However the city saw a rise in cases of rape and indecent assault cases, by 36 and 68.9 per cent respectively. Cases of domestic violence increased by close to a third, from 490 to 646 cases.

Meanwhile, serious drug offences rocketed by 67.6 per cent, from 451 to 756 cases.

Love is a lie

Romance scams surged by over 90 per cent during this period, with the amount of losses close to double that of the previous year, amounting to over HK$288 million, police said.

File photo.

Reports of deception rose by about 7 per cent to 8,699 cases; police had set up a new website for their Anti-Deception Coordination Centre in April, where the public can find out about the latest scam alerts. Its anti-scam telephone helpline prevented people in over 280 cases from falling victim to fraudsters, police said, and intercepted over HK$600 million before the money reached the perpetrators.

There was also a jump in the number of blackmail cases, which rose by 89.5 per cent to 707 cases in six months.