LCQ7: Curbing triad-related crimes
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     Following is a question by Dr the Hon Hoey Simon Lee and a written reply by the Secretary for Security, Mr Tang Ping-keung, in the Legislative Council today (December 14):
 
Question:
 
     It has been reported that a number of triad-related wounding cases, including blatant shootings and knife attacks on the streets, have happened in various districts in Hong Kong this year, arousing wide public concern. There are views pointing out that such cases not only endanger the personal safety of members of the public, but also tarnish Hong Kong's international image. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
 
(1) of the following information on the triad-related wounding cases happened in each month since January 2022: (i) the number of cases, (ii) how such figures compare with those of the same period last year, (iii) the casualty situation of such cases, and (iv) the percentage of cases in which the attackers were successfully apprehended;
 
(2) whether it has studied the causes of the rampant incidence of triad-related crimes; if so, of the outcome; if not, whether it will conduct relevant studies; and
 
(3) whether, in order to protect the personal safety of Hong Kong people, to build a good social environment and international image for Hong Kong, and to support the policy of "competing for talents" proposed by the Chief Executive, the authorities will take more effective measures to curb triad-related crimes; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
 
Reply:
 
President,
 
     The Police have always been closely monitoring the triad activities, and vigorously targeting triad personalities, cross-boundary and transnational syndicated or organised crime, investigating criminal proceeds and money laundering activities. We will not allow the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong be undermined by triad activities.

     My reply to Member's questions is as follows:

(1) From January to October 2022, the Police received a total of 268 triad-related wounding and serious assault cases, similar to the figure of the same period last year (271 cases). The breakdown is set out as follows:
 

Month / Year
 
2022 2021
January 18 24
February 17 13
March 24 52
April 43 22
May 34 29
June 17 21
July 20 20
August 32 28
September 26 28
October 32 26
Total
(from January to October)*
268 271
 
* Monthly figures may not add up to the cumulative total as some cases had been reclassified after obtaining further information.

     From January to October 2022, the detection rate of triad-related wounding and serious assault cases reached 91 per cent. While the Police noticed that there had been several relatively serious cases of violent assault in recent months, some of which were related to triad activities, a total of 2 980 cases of wounding and serious assault were recorded in January to October 2022, representing a drop of 14.2 per cent (492 cases) when compared to the same period last year. The Police will continue to closely monitor the trend of such crimes.

     ‚ÄčThe Police do not maintain other requested figures in the question.

(2) to (3) Combating triads, syndicated and organised crime is one of the Commissioner's Operational Priorities. The Police have been sparing no effort to strengthen and maintain close liaison with local and neighbouring relevant law enforcement agencies to mount intelligence-led enforcement operations and counter triad-personalities and their activities. At the same time, the Police also take proactive measures to investigate and confiscate the proceeds of such crimes to curb triad-related illegal activities, such as the operation of gambling and vice establishments, unlicensed bars and drug trafficking, so as to cut off their sources of income and maintain public confidence in Hong Kong's law and order.

     In terms of enforcement, targeting triad-related crimes, the Police promptly co-ordinated with various units and relevant law enforcement agencies to launch a large-scale "anti-triad operation" during the period of November 11 to 28, including carrying out high-profile patrols and conducting raid operations in a number of places of entertainment across the territory. Over 900 people were arrested, including senior members of triad groups, for various alleged offences such as "conspiracy to wound", "possession of offensive weapon", "trafficking in dangerous drugs", "possession of dangerous drugs", "claiming to be a member of a triad society", "selling liquor without a licence", "operating and managing gambling establishments", "bookmaking" and "criminal damage".

     Targeting illegal gambling activities controlled by triad groups during the World Cup period, the Police have launched a large-scale anti-illegal bookmaking operation codenamed "Crowbeak" and "Windshield" since November 13. As at December 8, the Police raided 119 premises allegedly related to illegal bookmaking activities and arrested 789 persons.

     As regards the recruitment of young people by triad groups to commit crimes, apart from increasing patrols and enforcement actions, the Police also sends officers to secondary schools to hold seminars to enhance their understanding of drugs, triad societies and various criminal offences, appealing to young people not to be tempted by lawbreakers to join triad societies or commit unlawful acts. The Police has also joined hands with other law enforcement agencies and non-governmental organisations to get in touch with "young night drifters" at places where they frequently visit, with the hope of providing appropriate follow-up support to young people to prevent them from being lured by lawbreakers, leading them to go astray.

     The Police will not tolerate triad-related illegal activities. They will continue to closely monitor and study the trend of such crimes, and take appropriate enforcement actions in a timely manner to curb triad-related illegal activities.

Ends/Wednesday, December 14, 2022
Issued at HKT 18:13

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