Deception cases surge in 2022

February 14, 2023

The number of crimes reported in 2022 was 70,048 cases, 8.7% more than in the previous year, mainly due to the rise of over 8,000 deception cases, while the overall detection rate was 35.2%.


The number of deception cases increased 45.1% to 27,923 cases in 2022, accounting for almost 40% of the overall number of crimes. More than 70% of the reports were Internet-related.


Reviewing last year's law and order situation at a press conference this afternoon, Commissioner of Police Siu Chak-yee said the jump was mainly driven by the upsurge of cases in online shopping scams, employment fraud, investment fraud and telephone deception - a surge ranging from 40% to 1.8-fold.


“When you asked about the reason for that, obviously, we noted that during the COVID-19 pandemic period over the past two to three years, many people were making use of social media.”


The Anti-Deception Coordination Centre intercepted over $1.3 billion of payments and prevented victims of over 500 deception cases from wiring money to fraudsters.


Police introduced the search engine "Scameter" last year to help members of the public to identify suspicious incoming calls and emails.


The force will launch the newly-developed mobile app "Scameter+" to facilitate public use tomorrow.


Mr Siu noted that publicity is also extremely important to tackle the deception problem.


“We will continue to work in partnership with the Office of the Communications Authority and also mobile network operators (MNOs).


“We are continuing to have monthly meetings with these MNOs, mobile virtual network operators etc, in order to work out whether there are any additional measures that we can implement.”


There were 8,830 cases of violent crime, a drop of 7.9%. Substantial decreases were registered in a number of major crimes, including sexual offences, criminal intimidation, criminal damage, serious drug offences and theft from vehicles.


The number of robbery and burglary cases was the lowest since records began in 1969.


As for National Security Law enforcement, Mr Siu highlighted that as at December 31 last year, Police arrested a total of 236 people and more than 140 people have been charged.


Safeguarding national security and engaging the whole community to counter terrorism will be Police’s work focus this year.


Mr Siu explained that Police have to guard against the threat of extreme violence of homegrown terrorism that is going underground.


Social and economic activities are moving forward along the path to normalcy as the pandemic subsides.


The force will strive to ensure that public activities under the gradual resumption are conducted in a safe and orderly manner.


Additionally, Police will foster multi-agency co-operation among different sectors of the community and reach out to young people in a soft approach with a view to heightening their law-abiding awareness.


Officers will also work in close and effective collaboration with the community to enhance public understanding of policing work and strengthen their trust and support in the force by way of optimising police services and enhancing transparency.

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