The Secretary for Security, Mr Cheong Kuok Va, said today Macao's public order remained stable, with violent crimes and offences against the person dropping by 10.7% and 3.6% respectively. Disclosing crime figures for the first half of the year, the security secretary said the number of violent crimes saw a drop of 45 cases over the same period last year: blackmail and arson cases were also down, by 31.1% and 4%. All five cases of homicide reported in the same period were solved. The number of wounding, serious assault and criminal intimidation cases also experienced drops, by 6.4%, 38.5% and 6.9% respectively. There had been a 10.8% increase in the total number of crimes reported in the same period, Mr Cheong said, due mainly to the 23.1% increase in property-related offences (+525 cases), which included theft (+21.3%), loan sharking (+20.3%), criminal damage (+23%) and robberies (+8.9%). He said the authorities were very concerned with these crimes, which could affect the daily lives of residents and Macao's image as a tourist attraction and the authorities would step up its efforts to combat crime. A total of 82 of crimes committed by juveniles were recorded, a rise of 17.1% over the same period of last year. Mr Cheong said the police force would work together with other departments and also step up street patrols to prevent and deter young people from committing juvenile crimes.