Cybercrimes went up 99% in 2020

by NURUL SUHAIDI / graphic by TMR

CYBERCRIME complaints increased by 99.5% to 20,805 last year from 10,426 in 2019, according to the crime statistics from the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DoSM).

The complaints were received from the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, which included obscene, false, offensive, indecent and menacing elements.

The highest increase in complaints was for the false element by 117.6% or 6,637 compared to 3,050 complaints in 2019.

“However, despite the rise in cybercrimes, physical crimes decreased last year of 21.4% to 65,623 cases compared to 83,456 cases in 2019.

“Violent crimes recorded a decrease of 19.5% to 13,279 cases while property crimes went down by 21.8% to 52,344 cases,” DoSM said in a statement yesterday.

According to DoSM, among the reasons for the dip in these crimes were due to restrictions on social activities, and cross-district and border travels following the many series of the Movement Control Order.

This publication comprises eight selected crime statistics namely crime index, drugs, corruptions, environment, traffic offences, cybercrime, maritime crime and correctional facility with two new additions this year — traffic offences and cybercrime.

The compilation of these statistics was guided by the concepts and guidelines from the International Classification of Crime for Statistical Purpose Version 1.0 published by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

The crime statistics were compiled using administrative records acquired from various sources and can be used to measure social aspects especially the people’s wellbeing and public safety.

Chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said security governance continues to be strengthened to ensure the country remains peaceful and public order is preserved.

“Additionally, there has been an increase in enforcement by the authorities and public awareness,” he said in the same statement.

Seremban recorded the biggest drop in violent crimes in 2020 by 40.6% to 326 cases compared to 549 in 2019.

This was followed by Johor Baru (36.7%) and Melaka Tengah (26.3%).

While for property crimes, Seberang Perai Tengah recorded the biggest decrease of 35.8% to 982 cases last year compared to 1,529 cases in 2019, followed by Melaka Tengah (32.6%) and Kuala Muda (29.4%).

“Crime prevention efforts continue to be intensified to eradicate drug cases, where there was a decrease of drug addicts by 20.8% to 20,643 persons in 2020 compared to 26,080 in 2019,” Mohd Uzir said.

The statistics further highlighted that the highest number of drug addicts arrested in 2020 was recorded in Johor (2,564), followed by Kedah (2,372) and Kelantan (2,271).

The number of prisoners admitted to correctional facilities declined by 26.1% in 2020 (102,045) compared to 2019 (138,044).

Except for Sarawak and Perlis, which had increases of 9.2% and 4.9% respectively, all states saw a decline in the number of convicted prisoners.

Selangor recorded the highest number of convicted prisoners admitted at 25,776 persons, followed by Johor (12,158) and Perak (8,558).

However, these numbers were lower than 2019’s record.