Overall crime cases in Hong Kong jumped by 48.4 percent in the first three months of this year from the same period last year, driven by a surge in fraud cases and people resuming their normal activities after the Covid-19 pandemic, Hong Kong’s Secretary for Security, Chris Tang, said on Monday.
The police investigated 20,584 crimes of all types during the period, 6,718 more than in the first quarter of 2022.
Speaking after a Fight Crime Committee meeting, Tang said the surge in crime was partly due to the relentless rise in fraud cases. He said these accounted for about 40 percent of all crimes between January and March.
“It’s the upsurge of the deception cases, which is about 65 percent higher than the same period of last year,” he said.
The security chief said the big increase in Hong Kong’s crime rate is also connected to the ending of strict social distancing measures implemented during the fifth wave of the pandemic last year.
“There are not many people on the street. So that’s the reason why cases like robbery, burglary, and theft cases – that normally happen on the street – that number was significantly reduced in the first three months of last year,” he said, adding that this year, things have returned to normal.
“When we look at the crime figures discounting the deception cases, the crime situation of the first quarter of this year is more or less the same as what [it was] in 2019, ie. before the Covid situation,” he said.
Tang also told reporters that police have not received any applications for any public events to mark June 4th.
He added that if an application is received, it will be handled in accordance with relevant laws and procedures.