SINGAPORE - More rape cases were reported in the first six months of this year compared to the same period last year, police said on Wednesday night.
According to the police, a total of 91 rape cases were reported in the first six months of this year, 30 more than the same period last year.
The rise in the overall rape statistics is largely attributed to an increase in the number of cases involving female minors under 14 years of age who had consensual sex, the police said.
Sex with a minor under 14 is considered statutory rape under the law. Offenders face up to 20 years in prison, and can be fined and caned.
Of the 91 reports, 40 involved girls under the age of 14. There were 23 such cases reported in the same period last year.
The culprits in the majority of these statutory rape cases were youth offenders known to the victims.
"All stakeholders, including schools, parents, media and the community have an important role to play in educating our youths against under-age sex. Families are encouraged to observe any changes in the behaviour or activities of their young members and to get to know the friends they hang out with," the police said in a statement.
Crimes shifts online
The crime brief released on Wednesday night also revealed that while 10-year lows were recorded in housebreaking, theft and related crimes, there was an increase in the number of online scams.
Two kinds of scams - multiple payment online purchase scam and Paypal email scam - registered significant increases.
In the category of cyber extortion, the total amount cheated increased from at least $22,000 to at least $57,000.
There were also more love scams over the Internet.
The police have responded by reaching out to the online community via social media and popular websites. A microsite has also been created to update the public on the types of scams they should be aware of online.
Director of Commercial Affairs Department, Mr. Tan Boon Gin said: "The latest statistics show a distinct shift to crimes being perpetrated online. The most effective way to combat this is through crime prevention. In addition to our public education efforts, we will be studying the crime patterns to see how we can work with online platforms and financial institutions to remind users about online scams at the most opportune moments of a transaction."
As a result of the rise in online crimes, there was a surge to 15,219 cases from 15,006 cases of all crime reported.
Key crime concerns for the year include:
a. Cheating involving e-commerce;
b. Cyber extortion;
c. serious hurt; and
Cases of serious hurt reported at construction sites registered increased from 16 cases to 22 cases in the first half of 2014.
On the other hand, the number of cases of unlicensed moneylending and harassment dropped from 4,729 to 3,235.
In addition, the number of cases of harassment with damage to property fell by 57 per cent to 1,388 cases in the first half of this year.