Police stay alert to terrorism and enhance road safety

     Police have been keeping an eye on the global threat of terrorism, staying alert at all times and making timely preparation and deployment as necessary.

     The remark was made by the Police Director of Operations, Mr Tang Ping-keung, today (July 26) at a press conference to review the crime situation in Hong Kong in the first half of 2017.

     Mr Tang stated that terrorist activities went rampant around the globe in recent years and the modi operandi became increasingly diversified. As a metropolis, financial centre as well as a transport and communication hub, Hong Kong was also confronted with the worldwide threat of terrorism.

     The counter-terrorism strategy of the Force involves four aspects, namely prevention, preparedness, response and recovery.

     On prevention, Police maintain close liaison with both the Mainland and overseas law enforcement and intelligence agencies in exchange of intelligence and threat assessment.  Collaborative efforts are stepped up to combat illegal immigration and monitor border control points, with a view to guarding against terrorists.

     In the meantime, high-profile uniformed patrols are carried out by police officers, including members of the Counter Terrorism Response Unit. The Force's Critical Infrastructure Security Coordination Centre strengthens self-protection and self-restoration capabilities of the critical infrastructures. Police also step up public education to enhance their awareness of terrorist attacks and major incidents.

     On preparedness, training and multi-agency exercises are conducted regularly to enhance counter-terrorism contingency plans as well as ensure emergency preparedness. In the first six months of 2017, nine counter-terrorism exercises were held.

     On response, in case of terrorist attacks, immediate intervention will be made by frontline officers. Other dedicated units will also provide professional support and carry out investigation.

     As regards recovery, the Force will work with relevant government departments to promptly control the situation, minimise casualties and unnecessary social impacts, as well as to restore social order after the terrorist attack.

     "There is no specific intelligence suggesting we will be under attack.  At present, the overall terrorist threat level of Hong Kong remains 'Moderate'," Mr Tang emphasised.

     Reviewing road safety in Hong Kong, Mr Tang said there were 7,657 cases of traffic accident in the first half of this year, representing a decrease of 5 per cent as compared with the same period of last year. There were 57 cases of fatal traffic accident and 59 people were killed with 34 of them were pedestrians.

     Driving inattentively was the major contributing factor of traffic accidents. There were 2,157 cases of traffic accidents involving driving inattentively in the first half of 2017, sharing 28 per cent of total traffic accident cases, and about 40 per cent involved professional drivers.

     "To improve the undesirable behaviour of road users that caused traffic accidents, Police will continue to take stringent enforcement actions according to the 'Selected Traffic Enforcement Priorities'. It is necessary to continuously enhance enforcement efforts, particularly against offences occurred at traffic accident blacksites," he said.

     In the first half of 2017, more than 830,000 summonses were issued against illegal parking across the territory, being an increase of 14 per cent when compared with the same period of last year.

     Regarding public events, Mr Tang said Police handled 5,866 public events in the first half of 2017, representing an increase of 264 cases over the same period of 2016. The number of persons arrested arising out of public event conflicts dropped from 106 in the first half of 2016 to 40 in the same period of 2017.

     Most of the public events were conducted in a peaceful and orderly manner.  Mr Tang said, "It might be due to the enhancement of communication between Police and public event organisers and the increase in transparency.  This enables public event participants to better understand the reasons and purpose of Police's arrangement in those public events.  The coordination could ensure the activities be carried out smoothly."

     On engaging the community, Police continue to optimise the use of the Internet and social media to maintain effective interaction with the community. In addition to disseminating Police information, in the event of emergencies, the Hong Kong Police Facebook page plays an important role in providing the general public with accurate and first-hand information.

     Besides, the Junior Police Call Permanent Activity Centre cum Integrated Youth Training Camp is expected to officially open in the third quarter of 2017.  Young people will be able to enhance leadership and management skills, physical fitness, the application of technology and the understanding of policing work at the training camp.

     "With the support from the general public, we have achieved positive results in the first half of 2017 through preventing crimes, fighting crimes, and maintaining road safety as well as the public order," Mr Tang concluded.

Ends/Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Issued at HKT 20:07