SINGAPORE – There were more outrage of modesty cases in the first half of this year than last year, and in about two out of three cases, the offenders were known to the victims.

The police said on Wednesday that cases of outrage of modesty increased by 4.6 per cent to 773 from January to June this year, up from 739 cases in the same period last year.

Cases where the culprits were known to the victims saw a rise of 9.6 per cent to 489, up from 446 in the first half of last year.

Meanwhile, cases involving offenders unknown to the victims dipped slightly by 3.1 per cent to 284, from 293 in the first six months of 2021.

“The number of outrage of modesty cases occurring within the public transport system, including public transportation nodes and on public transport, remains a concern,” said the police on Wednesday.

The police added that 63.8 per cent of outrage of modesty incidents, committed on public transport by those not known to their victims, targeted individuals aged between 13 and 29.

According to mid-year crime statistics released on Monday, 80 outrage of modesty cases happened on public transport in the first half of the year.

The police said closed-circuit television cameras, as well as vital information provided by the victims such as descriptions of the suspects, their clothing and distinctive facial features, helped to solve many of the cases.

The police gave the example of a case that took place in April this year. A 27-year-old woman reported she had been molested by a man she did not know at Woodlands Avenue 6.

She provided a detailed description of the man and the police trawled through footage captured by police cameras in the area, eventually establishing the identity of the man.

The 40-year-old offender was arrested by officers from Woodlands Police Division within three days of the report.

He was charged with outrage of modesty and sentenced to four weeks’ jail in May.

Those found guilty of outrage of modesty may be jailed for up to three years, fined, caned or receive any combination of such punishments.