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Transcript of remarks by S for S after FCC meeting

     Following is the transcript of remarks made by the Secretary for Security, Mr Lai Tung-kwok, at a media session at Central Government Offices, Tamar, after the Fight Crime Committee meeting this afternoon (September 25):

Reporter: (On abuse of power by the Police.)

Secretary for Security: The ACAN (Action Committee Against Narcotics), the committee, issued this consultation document. In paragraph 3.3 to 3.6, they clearly identified the concern that you have raised and they have suggested that should this scheme proceed, there should be a high threshold for law enforcement officers to follow before they can ask a person who is suspected of having taken drugs to conduct the examination. Various safeguards have been produced. We have no predetermined target but we sincerely hope that people of Hong Kong can consider carefully all the reasons stated in this consultation document. This is a consultation period and we hope that during this stage, the people of Hong Kong, all stakeholders, all those who are concerned with this very important issue, can express all their views. For instance, at the end of the questions, they asked if there are any other suggestions to tackle the problem of hidden drug abuse if you do not agree with the suggestions in the consultation document. This is a consultation. We sincerely hope that everybody can consider the issue stated in the paper and then give their considered views to us so that after gathering all the information we can fully understand how the public feel about this issue, whether we should or we should not proceed further.

Reporter: (On additional manpower.)

Secretary for Security: There might be some additional workload and resources required. As to how much and when, it then depends on the final outcome of the proposals, what kind of additional safeguards that have to be put in addition to work suggested in the consultation paper. I think it is a bit premature at this stage. But we do recognise that this is not an easy task. And, if we have to go ahead, there are resource implications, not only on the law enforcement agencies but also, more importantly, at the downstream rehabilitation assistance provided by social workers, and medical staff, to those concerned. That is even more important because identification is just the first step. There are many, many steps that we have to follow before we can successfully help those who take drugs to give it up permanently. So, in a nutshell, there are going to be additional resources not only in the first part of it - perhaps now everybody is just concentrating on the first part. But as I said, the most important part that followed is how to assist, to lead those people back to their normal life. That is even more important.

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

Ends/Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Issued at HKT 20:18


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