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Overall law and order situation remained stable in 2011 (with photo)

     The overall law and order situation in Hong Kong remained stable in 2011 with a slight drop in the overall crime, according to the Commissioner of Police, Mr Tsang Wai-hung.

     Speaking at a press conference today (January 17) to review the crime situation in Hong Kong last year, Mr Tsang said that during the period, a total of 75,936 cases of crime were recorded, representing a slight drop when compared with 75,965 cases in 2010.

     The detection rate was 42.5 per cent, similar to 42.8 percent in 2010.
     There were a total of 13,100 cases of violent crime recorded last year, a drop of 3 per cent when compared with 2010.

     Noting that most categories of crimes recorded a fall, Mr Tsang said the crimes with the number of cases on the rise included deception (up 8.5 per cent), pickpocketing (up 13.1 per cent), miscellaneous theft (up 5.6 per cent), and criminal damage (up 3.6 per cent).

     A total of 6,134 cases of deception were registered in 2011, being an increase of 482 cases or 8.5 per cent when compared with the previous year.

     Increase was mainly seen in online business fraud, which was up by 265 cases to 888. Six hundred and sixty-six cases of them were in relation to online auction and shopping.

     In respect of telephone deception, 2011 saw a decrease of 103 cases to 1,916, a result of enhanced publicity and enforcement actions. The number of cases involving modus operandi of "Guess Who I Am" had been substantially reduced whereas those involving "Detained Son" had regained prevalence.

     "Apart from establishing dedicated teams to investigate such cases, educational publicity will be continued to raise public awareness against the crimes. We will also work closely with overseas enforcement agencies to target syndicates involving in cross boundary online business fraud activities," Mr Tsang said.

     A total of 1,583 pickpocketing cases were recorded in 2011, an increase of 183 cases or 13.1 per cent when compared with 2010.

     Miscellaneous thefts increased by 1,070 cases to 20,128, a rise of 5.6 per cent when compared with 2010. Around 70 per cent or 14,202 cases involved inadequate attention on properties, an increase of 583 cases over the previous year. There were also a total of 2,339 metal theft cases, an increase of 525 cases when compared with 2010.

     Concerning criminal damage, 2011 saw a total of 7,057 reports, an increase of 243 cases or 3.6 per cent over the previous year. The overall increase was mainly related to the 2011 District Council Election. There were 217 cases involved election posters or publicity boards being damaged.  

     Mr Tsang also pointed out that crimes such as theft from vehicle (down 18.8 per cent), shop theft (down 2.6 per cent), wounding and serious assault (down 3.3 per cent), and burglary (down 3.5 per cent) all recorded a decrease.

     He then briefly talked about the crime situation of homicide, robbery, drug offences, domestic violence crimes, and juvenile crimes.

     There were a total of 17 homicides reported in 2011, a decrease of 18 cases or 51.4 per cent when compared with 2010. Majority of the cases were family or domestic violence related. Sixteen cases were detected. All of which involved culprits known to the victims.

     A total of 731 robbery cases were recorded in 2011, a decrease of 47 cases when compared with 2010. No robbery with genuine firearm was reported in 2011. ¡§The figure was the record low since 1969,¡¨ Mr Tsang noted.

     "However, in respect of street robbery, over 60 per cent or 158 of the arrested persons were aged under 21. Cases committed by them mainly involved modus operandi of abusing the younger youths and taking away their properties.

     "To tackle the trend, Police have stepped up enforcement action and patrol at locations frequently haunted by young people," Mr Tsang added.
     Serious drug cases totalled 2,045, a drop of 151 cases or 6.9 per cent when compared with the preceding year. Cases involved cocaine and ice however were on the rise.

     As a result of enhanced enforcement actions by Police and the Customs at various immigration control points, there was a considerable increase in drug seizure in heroin (up 102 kg or 1.5 fold increase), cannabis (up 35 kg or 3.2 fold increase), ketamine (up 112 kg or 68 per cent increase) and cocaine (217 kg or 39 per cent increase).

     In addition, a South American drug trafficking syndicate was neutralized in September 2011 by the Police with a seizure of 567 kg of cocaine in Tuen Mun.

     "Police will continue to adopt a multi-disciplinary and inter-departmental approach, as well as enhanced international co-operation strategy to combat drug problem. We will strive to interdict illicit drug flow into Hong Kong, reduce the demand for drugs in the market, and investigate and confiscate drug proceeds.

     "We will also continue with our efforts to lobby for new legislations, seek enhanced sentencing for convicted offenders and promote educational publicity against drug use, especially against drug abuse among the youth," Mr Tsang said.

     The number of criminal domestic violence cases recorded in 2011 was 1,928, a drop of 229 cases or 10.6 per cent when compared with 2010.

     Turning to juvenile crimes, there were 7,693 young people under the age of 21 were arrested for crimes in 2011, with a decrease of 138 when compared with 2010. They mainly committed offences of wounding and serious assault, shop theft, miscellaneous theft, and serious drug offences.

     The Commissioner also took the opportunity to introduce the Force's Strategic Directions and Strategic Action Plan for 2012-2014, as well as the Force Operational Priorities for 2012.

     The Strategic Directions include engaging the community; enhancing personal and professional qualities of Force members; strengthening criminal intelligence gathering force-wide; and supporting the frontline units. The Strategic Action Plan comprises 16 key projects in support of the Strategic Directions.

     The Commissioner's Operational Priorities for this year include violent crime; triads, syndicated and organised crime; dangerous drugs; quick cash crime; technology crime; public safety; and terrorism.

     In 2012, Police will continue to deter violence and combat criminal activities especially those involving the use of firearms or explosive devices; target street gangs in particular those involving young persons, as well as to professionally handle and investigate all reports of domestic violence.

     Police will also proactively identify and target personalities and activities associated with syndicated crime at local level, cross boundary and trans-nationally. Proactive measures will be taken to investigate the proceeds of crime and money-laundering activities.

     In combating dangerous drug, Police will continue to enhance co-operation with overseas law enforcement agencies to interdict illicit drug flow into Hong Kong; proactively target drug traffickers especially those exploiting minors and juveniles; as well as to adopt a multi-agency and community-based approach to promote anti-drug awareness among students and juveniles.   

     In tackling quick cash crime, apart from pickpocketing, miscellaneous theft, street deception and telephone deception, the Force will also target internet deception activities this year.

     Technology crime is also a newly added priority for 2012. Police will focus on three aspects, including professional investigation; strengthening co-operation and intelligence sharing with overseas law enforcement agencies; and promoting public awareness of computer and cyber security through a multi-agency approach.

     To address the increasing trend of fatal accidents arising from cycling, "to promote safe cycling through a multi-agency approach" is added under the priority of public safety.

     In addition, the Force will continue to implement various anti-terrorism measures in three main aspects namely prevention, protection and preparedness.

     In conclusion, Mr Tsang said: "The support and participation of the public in the prevention of crime remained a key factor in maintaining the law and order situation in 2011.

     "I hope the public will continue to support and assist the Force in fulfilling our responsibilities of keeping law and order, and in ensuring Hong Kong to remain one of the safest cities in the world."
     Also attending the press conference were the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations), Mr Tang Kam-moon, and Deputy Commissioner of Police (Management), Mr Lee Ka-chiu.

Police Report No. 212

Ends/Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Issued at HKT 20:25


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