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Secretary for Security talks about crime situation

    Following is the transcript (English portion) of the remarks made by the Secretary for Security, Mr Ambrose S K Lee, at a media session at the ground floor lobby of the Central Government Offices West Wing after the Fight Crime Committee (FCC) meeting this afternoon (April 24):

    Secretary for Security: The Fight Crime Committee has reviewed the crime situation of the first quarter of 2008. The overall crime figure and the violent crime figure dropped by as much as 6.1% and 4.9% respectively, the former mainly because of the drop in deception cases, miscellaneous thefts, theft from vehicle, wounding and serious assault cases. The crime statistics in respect of juveniles also dropped, but there has been a significant increase in young people taking drugs - an increase of almost 40%. This is a matter of concern. The task force led by the Secretary for Justice will shortly push through a number of short- and medium-term measures to tackle the problem, starting with a territory-wide campaign by the end of June this year. We hope that all sectors of the community will join hands to help combat this problem.

    Reporter: Given the sensitive nature of the Torch Relay, would you advise the public against displaying Tibetan flags”K”K?

    Secretary for Security: In Hong Kong, we treasure the freedom of expression and the freedom of speech. People can express their views in a peaceful and lawful manner. But we all know the Olympic torch run is a significant event in Hong Kong, and on that particular day, we expect tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands people will be on the street welcoming the Olympic torch runners, so I appeal to those who wish to stage any protest or demonstration, that they should exercise constraint, and not to provoke the sentiment of the spectators. We don”¦t want any breach of peace, or the police have to exercise their authority to maintain law and order.

    Reporter: Would it be a bad idea to display Tibetan flag?

    Secretary for Security: That is the personal judgement of those people who wish to exercise their right to freedom of expression.

    Reporter: Could you please confirm whether the people standing close to the torch-bearers were to light the torch, whether they are Chinese para-military?

    Secretary for Security: These are people who carry the torch to Hong Kong to light up the torch. The arrangement was approved by the Olympic Committee. They have no law enforcing power in Hong Kong. They could not exercise any power. It is our police officers who are tasked to protect the convoy.

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

Ends/Thursday, April 24, 2008
Issued at HKT 20:08


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