Crime figures down 12 pct in Q1, cybercrime cases down 85 pct

Crime in Macau decreased by 12 per cent in the first quarter of this year, compared to the same period in 2021, the Security Bureau announced today (Tuesday).

The authorities opened 2,565 criminal investigation cases, which translates into a “reduction of 349 cases” in the three months under review, compared to the same period of 2021, said a statement from the government department.

In violent crime (kidnapping, murder, child sexual abuse, kidnapping, drug trafficking and sale, robbery, rape, fire and serious offence to physical integrity), authorities recorded 43 cases in the first quarter of this year compared to 71 in the same period last year, a reduction of 39.4 per cent.

“In the scope of crimes of serious violence, kidnapping, murder and serious bodily harm, we continue to maintain a zero rate or a very low rate,” the document added.

Also, crimes against property showed a drop in the amount of 6.4 per cent, with 1,325 cases in the first three months of 2022.

In this assessment of crime for the first quarter of 2022, the office of the secretary for Security Wong Sio Chak indicated that “the situation of pneumonia caused by the new type of coronavirus has not only negatively affected economic life but also the security status of society”.

“The spread (…) worldwide has had a great influence on the public’s travel, and criminals have also taken advantage of the public’s increased reliance on the internet to commit illicit acts, leading to an exponential increase in cybercrime,” the document read.

For this reason, the report noted, local authorities have stepped up cyber inspections and, “given that cybercrimes have a highly cross-border nature”, in recent years they have strengthened “the exchange of information with police departments in neighbouring regions”.

Measures that, according to the security guardianship, “have achieved successes”, with a marked reduction in cybercrimes in recent months: in the first quarter of 2022, 48 cases were recorded, a decrease of 274 cases compared to the same period last year, representing a decrease of 85.1 per cent.