Trends in Criminal Activities
Singapore's criminal code included seven classes of
Class one covered serious crimes against persons,
rape, and assault with a deadly weapon. Classes two
were concerned with arson, robbery, theft, and abuse of
property. Class five crimes included forgery,
fraud. Classes six and seven covered violations of the
in matters of public safety and violations of special
ordinances, particularly those related to drugs, firearms,
gambling, vagrancy, vandalism, and petty crime.
A high percentage of murder cases were solved each year
police. In 1988 only ten of fifty-four murders had not
by police at the end of the year. The percentage of
solved had steadily increased since the 1960s. In 1969
solved 44 percent of seventy-eight murders. This number
68 percent of fifty-seven murders in 1983, and in 1988 to
percent of the total.
Police were less successful in solving other types of
In 1984, there were 677 incidents reported to police that
sexual and other types of assaults on persons, including
and beatings. Police solved approximately 50 percent of
crimes. In 1984 only 20 percent of the reported 1,620
cases had been solved at the time statistics for that year
reported to the ICPO. Persons under the age of sixteen
classified as juveniles and given special treatment under
In 1984, few juveniles were charged with committing
Juveniles were involved in no murders, 8 percent of the
assaults, and 10 percent of the armed robberies.
Most of the crimes for which statistics were available
involved various types of theft. Sixty percent of the
reported that year were classified as thefts that did not
a dangerous weapon. Police solved 18 percent of the almost
reported cases of theft, and juveniles were believed to be
responsible for 12 percent of these crimes. Between 1971
police were successful in substantially reducing the
number of car
thefts. In 1971 almost 9,000 vehicles were stolen,
only 470 in 1984. In 1983, juveniles were responsible for
percent of all car thefts.
In the early 1970s, the government determined that the
of illegal drugs, particularly heroin, cannabis, and such
psychotropic tablets as methaqualone, was a major problem.
Parliament passed the Misuse of Drugs Act, which mandated
imprisonment for drug dealers and instituted new programs
rehabilitate users. The act also enabled the government to
the problem more accurately because most of the persons
each year on drug charges already had a criminal record.
1980s, more than 5,000 persons were arrested annually on
charges. Only 10 percent of those arrested were newly
users, however, and another 10 percent were found to be
selling illegal drugs.
Data as of December 1989