HONG KONG, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- The number of crimes in China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) in 2018 fell 3.2 percent to 54,225, the lowest figure since 1974, Hong Kong's Commissioner of Police Stephen Lo said on Tuesday.
Reviewing last year's crime situation of HKSAR at a press conference, Lo said there were fewer cases of robbery, burglary, theft, rape, serious drug offences, criminal intimidation, arson, criminal damage and triad-related crimes.
There were 147 robberies, 16 less than the previous year and the lowest since 1969. More cases were recorded in homicide, deception, blackmail, indecent assault and domestic violence crimes.
The number of deception cases went up 18.1 percent to more than 8,300, with an increase in social media deception, online business fraud, email scam and investment fraud.
Lo said, according to the crime figures, traditional crimes are all enjoying a healthy downward trend, but unfortunately, there is an increase in the deception over the Internet due to the rise of new technology.
In 2018, social media deception totalled 2,064 cases, a rise of 1,001 cases or 94 percent over 2017. The pecuniary loss increased by 2.5-fold to 500 million HK dollars (about 63.72 million U.S. dollars). Among them, 596 cases were "romance scam," which was a 1.5-fold increase from 2017. A loss of 450 million HK dollars, up 3.2-fold, was recorded.
Hong Kong Police have been maintaining close cooperation with overseas law enforcement agencies, Lo said, adding that in October last year, the Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau of the force mounted a joint operation with Singapore and Malaysia police.
A "romance scam" syndicate based in Malaysia was neutralised, and 52 syndicate members, including the mastermind, were arrested, he said.(1 U.S. dollar = 7.84 HK dollars)