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LCQ16: School burglary


    Following is a question by Ir Dr Hon Ho Chung-tai and a written reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Professor Arthur K C Li, in the Legislative Council today (April 27):


    It has been reported that the large quantity of information technology equipment acquired for schools by the Government in recent years has become the coveted target of thieves and burglars, thus giving rise to a number of school burglary cases. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the year-on-year rate of increase in the number of schools burgled in each of the past three years ;

(b) whether it has studied the reasons for thieves and burglars successfully breaking into the schools concerned; if it has, of the findings; and

(c) whether it has any plans to review the effectiveness of the existing anti-burglary measures for schools?


Madam President,

(a) In the past three years, the numbers of schools reporting burglary cases of information technology equipment to the Education and Manpower Bureau (EMB) were as follows:

Financial Year  Number of Schools  Rate of Increase (+)

                                     /Decrease (-)

--------------  -----------------  --------------------

2001-02                 5                 --

2002-03                11                +120%

2003-04                19                +73%

2004-05                12                -37%

(b) According to the Crime Prevention Bureau (CPB) of the Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF), there are various reasons for thieves and burglars successfully breaking into the schools concerned, including:

(i) schools have insufficient awareness and knowledge in taking precautionary measures against theft and burglary leading to loopholes in school security;

(ii) many school burglaries took place after midnight when schools are quiet and empty;

(iii) staff members of some schools are negligent of their duties, e.g. forgot to close the windows or lock the doors/gates;

(iv) many arrested burglars were students, some of whom are studying or once studied in the schools concerned and therefore are familiar with the environment there.

(c) EMB maintains regular liaison with HKPF on the trend of and reasons for school burglary cases and to review the security measures adopted by schools and their effectiveness so as to advise the schools concerned of the necessary enhancement to school security. To enable schools to have a better understanding of the problems in school security and further heighten schools' awareness in taking precautionary measures against theft and burglary in schools, EMB and HKPF have again jointly organised four seminars on a regional basis in mid-April this year. Apart from inviting the CPB to explain the trend of the recent school burglary cases, analyse the common problems in school security and recommend the related precautionary measures to the participants, some school representatives were also invited to share their good practices in school security.

Ends/Wednesday, April 27, 2005


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