However, low crime does not mean no crime, as the popular catch phrase in Singapore goes. 2018 saw an increase in the number of crimes committed, due in large part to the increase in crimes involving fraud and scams. The prevalence of such crimes have led the Singapore Police Force to highlight scams as the crime of concern for 2018, especially given the size of the losses incurred by such swindles. In 2017, e-commerce scams alone cost the victims approximately 1.4 million Singapore dollars worth of losses. With the prevalence and popularity of e-commerce in Singapore, this type of crime would most likely increase in the coming years. Economic crimes are also reported to be on the rise in businesses and organizations in Singapore.
Singapore is able to keep its crime rate low by enforcing strict laws and imposing harsh penalties on those who break the law, as well as having a sophisticated system of surveillance. From the exorbitant fines for littering to the use of capital punishment for crimes such as drug trafficking and homicide, such measures act as a deterrent to would-be transgressors. Despite the criticisms from various human rights organizations, Singapore still executed a total of eight people in 2017, all for the crime of trafficking drugs into the island nation. The harsh penalties imposed on crimes related to drug abuse is apparent when looking at the Singapore prison population: in 2018, more than two-thirds of inmates were in prison for drug offences.