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S for S talks about crime situation

     Following is the transcript of remarks (English portion) made by the Secretary for Security, Mr Ambrose S K Lee, at a media session at the ground floor lobby, West Wing, Central Government Offices, after the Fight Crime Committee meeting this afternoon (April 28):

Secretary for Security: The Fight Crime Committee has reviewed the overall law and order situation for the first three months of this year. I am glad to report that the overall crime has reported a decrease including crimes like criminal intimidation, criminal damage, indecent assault and shop theft. Of course there are some kinds of crimes that reported a slight increase, like burglary and robbery. I am also glad to report that juvenile and young people committing offences for the first three months has also reported a decrease compared with the same period last year. The decrease is as much as over 12%. The overall law and order situation in Hong Kong is rather stable and Hong Kong is still a very safe place.

Reporter: It seems that Police is devoting resources to try to find somebody who is expressing himself to free Ai Wei Wei or people throwing corn flour are trying to express themselves about their unhappiness and the Mainland. Why does it seem so important that so much resources are being devoted to, any kind of sensitivity might be felt on the Mainland side?

Secretary for Security: Hong Kong is a very open and liberal community and we respect the freedom of expression, and we protect the freedom of expression. But in this case, the police have received complaints from property owners, as many as five complaints, saying that their private properties being vandalised.  Having received this kind of complaints, it is the duty of the police to investigate; it is nothing to do with the suppression of the freedom of expression.

Reporter: What about the other case which people throwing corn flour to complain melamine and they just been charged ... ?

Secretary for Security: For those cases now being heard in the court, I am afraid I am unable to comment as it is in the judicial process. For any cases laid before the court, the police will put the cases to Department of Justice, and the lawyers will make the decisions independently.

Reporter: It seems that there are marked increase in deception and also drug seizures. Can you tell us?

Secretary for Security: Contrary to the gradual decline in the overall crimes, there are a number of crimes that have recorded an increase, deception is one of them. We have noticed that deception on the internet is increasing, especially false purchase or false selling. The police have noticed this trend and they have established a special team to tackle the problem. Of course we will liaise with the service providers to see how it could help to prevent this kind of deception.

     Another type of deception is telephone deception. At the end of last year and early this year, we have a new trend that people in the Mainland made phone calls to one of us in Hong Kong and asked "guess who I am". This kind of deception was increasing last year, but then the Chinese police had cracked the syndicate in January this year. Since then, telephone deception has dropped considerably. As far as telephone deception is concerned, the first three months this year compared with the last quarter of 2010, there was a marked decrease. We hoped that by next quarter, the situation will continue to improve.

     You asked about seizure of drugs. The seizure of cocaine, ketamine, "ice" and heroin are the result of several successful operations at the point of entry like the airport or the border, where the Customs and Excise Department has successfully intercepted the drugs that I have mentioned earlier. This also indicated that our law enforcement departments are doing the job to try to stop at the source. I am glad to report that according to the Central Registry of Drug Abuse, the number of drug addicts in Hong Kong has recorded a decrease, so there is no direct correlation between the seizure of drugs and the number of drug addicts in Hong Kong.

Reporter: Is that suggested that the drug seizures are drugs intended for transshipment?

Secretary for Security: There is such a possibility.

Reporter: On internet deception ... is there an easy way for people to report suspicious internet emails or whatever forged website perhaps to the Police? Is there a simple way to file an investigation?

Secretary for Security: I will liaise with and talk to the Police Commissioner. There are a number of ways to deal with, the service providers, Police or any agencies, but I am not an expert. Thanks for your suggestions.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Thursday, April 28, 2011
Issued at HKT 21:24


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