Macau, China, 15 Fev – Secretary for Security Cheong Kuoc Va announced Tuesday a 7.4 percent increase in the number of reported crimes last year, including an 18.5 percent growth in violent crime such as extortion, robbery, murder, rape and sexual abuse of children.
A total of four murders were reported in 2011, two more than a year earlier.
The number of reported robbery cases rose 11.2 percent to 198. A total of 124 drug-trafficking and smuggling cases were reported last year, up 9.7 percent.
Cheong revealed last year’s crime figures in a press conference held in the Macau Security Forces’ Sao Francisco Barracks headquarters.
There was also a notable increase in reported property crimes such as thefts, pick-pocketing and break-ins last year, The Macau Post Daily reports today.
The number of reported thefts rose 20.1 percent year-on-year to 4,605 last year, when the number of reported pick-pocketing cases rose 48.5 percent to 1,544.
Property crimes took up 56.6 percent of all crimes last year.
Cheong said that the police would deploy more patrol officers to the city’s potential crime spots. He also said that the police would improve their relationship with citizens and tourists to make them more aware of the fight against crime.
Cheong also said that the police would continue to collaborate with the law-enforncement authorities in nearby regions such as Hong Kong and the mainland by exchanging information.
Nevertheless, Cheong conceded that police often face difficulties when investigating property crimes such as thefts, as perpetrators usually leave very little evidence at the crime scene; furthermore, suspects in these crimes are usually non-locals, which increases the complexity of identify-ing them, according to Cheong.
Cheong attributed last year’s increase in the number of reported drug smuggling cases to the installation of X-ray scanning machines at the airport that have improved the detection rate.
On a positive note, Cheong said that there were no kidnappings reported in 2011. Moreover, there was a decrease in the number of crimes involving juveniles last year. While there was a 10.9 percent drop in reported male juvenile crimes to 106, those involving adolescent female delinquents fell even sharper – from 78 cases in 2010 to 36 cases last year, a 53.8 percent decrease.
A total of 3,007 foreign overstayers were caught by the authorities last year, an increase of 13.2 percent. (MacauNews/Politics)