Specific resources focused on cybercrimes

While there is no dedicated cybercrime unit here, the police do have specific resources focused on tackling cybercrimes.

Second Minister for Home Affairs S. Iswaran said this yesterday when asked what the police are doing to prevent a further escalation of e-commerce crimes.

"Police are also constantly upgrading their cyber capabilities and they work closely with international partners and experts in order to track down persons who use the Internet to commit crimes," he said.

He added that the new Interpol Global Complex for Innovation in Singapore will also have a digital crime centre that will develop new solutions to tackle cybercrime.

Mr Iswaran was responding to questions from Mr Ang Wei Neng (Jurong GRC) on how the police were tackling cybercrimes.

Crimes involving e-commerce have risen sharply over the last three years - from 238 reported cases in 2012 to 510 cases in 2013, and 1,659 cases last year.

The increase, Mr Iswaran said, reflects the growth of online shopping transactions and greater awareness and reporting of such crimes.

While the number of reported cases has escalated in recent years, the number of arrests in relation to these cases has been relatively low.

There were 132 arrests related to e-commerce crimes from 2012 to last year.

Mr Iswaran said that this was because many of these perpetrators are based overseas and, therefore, harder for the police to track down.

"Investigations also take more time given the trans-boundary nature of such crimes, and the police need to work closely with their international counterparts," said Mr Iswaran.

The police also carry out public education campaigns to make consumers aware of the danger of scams when they shop online.

They work with the Media Development Authority, Monetary Authority of Singapore, major financial institutions and online shopping sites, among other partners, he said.


This article was first published on Feb 14, 2015.
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