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LCQ14: Children abduction

     Following is a written reply by the Secretary for Security, Mr Ambrose S K Lee, to a question by the Dr Hon Priscilla Leung in the Legislative Council today (April 25):


     It has been learnt that earlier on a man allegedly attempted to induce and abduct several students of the La Salle Primary School (LSPS) in Kowloon Tong near the school when they were on their way walking to take a nanny van after school.  LSPS reported the case to the Police for record.  In addition, crime squad police officers collected video records of the closed-circuit television cameras nearby for investigation.  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of children who went missing in the territory of Hong Kong in the past three years; among them, the number of those who were suspected to be abducted, induced or kidnapped; the number of those who were successfully found, and whether any of them who went missing in Hong Kong was found outside the territory;

(b) of the number of persons arrested for allegedly to have abducted, induced, forcibly taken away or kidnapped children in the past three years; among them, the number of those who were convicted, and the penalties generally imposed on them; whether the persons arrested (including those who were eventually acquitted) included any non-Hong Kong resident;

(c) given that it has been reported that recently incidents involving suspected failed attempts of abducting and inducing children occurred one after another in many public places in Hong Kong, and some parents reported the incidents to the Police for assistance afterwards, whether the Police has formulated any contingency measure in respect of the series of cases of alleged attempts of abducting and inducing children; if so, of the measures; if not, the reasons for that; and

(d) whether the Police has, in respect of the recent incidents involving suspected failed attempts of children abduction, liaised with the law enforcement departments on the Mainland and exchanged intelligence with them; if so, whether there are signs showing that "children abduction syndicates" from the Mainland attempt to abduct children in the territory of Hong Kong; if not, of the reasons for that?



(a) and (b) The Police received a total of three reports of "child abduction" cases (ie stealing a child aged 14 or below) from 2009 to 2011.  All the three children were found.  A total of three persons were arrested.  Two of these three cases involved children taken away by either their parents as well as runaways.  In the remaining case, a stranger was involved and one person was arrested by the Police.  The arrested persons mentioned above were all Hong Kong residents.  The case that involved a stranger took place in April 2010, in which a man took away a two-year-old girl from a park in Sham Shui Po.  The Police located the girl in the vicinity of the park on the same day and arrested the man.  The girl sustained no injuries.  The man was subsequently charged with "stealing child under 14 years" and "indecent assault".  He was then convicted and sentenced to three years' imprisonment.

     "Child abduction" is a very serious offence.  According to section 43 (Stealing Child under 14 years) of the Offences Against the Person Ordinance (Cap 212), any person who unlawfully, by any means, leads or takes away, or decoys or entices away, or detains any child under the age of 14 years, with intent to deprive any parent, guardian, or other person having the lawful care or charge of such child of the possession of such child shall be guilty of an offence triable upon indictment, and shall be liable to imprisonment for seven years.

(c) and (d) From February 2 to April 16 this year, the Police followed up a total of 22 cases of suspected child abduction.  After investigation, it is confirmed that among these cases seven are merely misreported, another seven are out of misunderstanding and two are neither related to abduction nor criminal in nature.  The six remaining cases are being followed up, and the major concern is that it is suspected that children had been followed, accosted or contacted by strangers.  Up till now, there is no proof that these cases involve the offence of child abduction.

     The Police have attached great importance to reports of suspected attempt of child abduction and will follow up each and every case seriously.  The Immigration Department has also stepped up checking at control points.  It will strengthen its liaison with the Police in a timely manner to prevent criminals from abducting children out of the territory.

Ends/Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Issued at HKT 15:03


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