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[Vision, Common Purpose & Values] [Foreword] [Operations] [Regional Commanders' Report]
[Personnel and Training] [Management Services] [Finance, Administration and Planning]
[Environmental Report] [Organisation] [Annexes & Appendices] [Information]



Welcome to the Hong Kong Police Review 2008, which covers the work and achievements of the Force during the year in pursuit of our vision that Hong Kong remains one of the safest and most stable societies in the world.

The year was a historic and momentous one for the Force and Hong Kong, as we played host to the Olympic Torch Relay in May, followed by the Equestrian Events of the Beijing 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games in August and September. The welcoming, safe and secure environment that was provided to participants and spectators, as well as the manner in which they enjoyed the activities in the true Olympic and Paralympic spirit, was a fitting tribute to the professionalism, perseverance and dedication displayed by our officers. They made the events a resounding success.

In spite of the unprecedented planning and resource challenges that the security operations associated with these events created for the Force, I am very pleased to report that our frontline staff were able to continue to provide a professional and responsive police service to the community of Hong Kong throughout the year. In addition to fulfilling our watch and ward responsibilities, the management of various public demonstrations staged by different groups to promote their respective interests and our response to a number of emergencies – including the sinking of the 'Neftegaz 67' in Hong Kong waters, the Nam Bin Wai Roundabout traffic accident and the Cornwall Court fire – are among many examples of how our officers served with pride and care in frequently difficult, confrontational and distressing circumstances.

Whilst many factors affect the prevalence of crime, the commitment of the Force in pursuing and developing our policing strategies and operational priorities is undoubtedly one of the driving forces behind the stable, and generally reassuring law and order situation in Hong Kong. During the year, there was a 2.9 per cent decrease in overall crime and a 3.4 per cent decrease in violent crime in comparison with 2007. Reports of robbery, blackmail, serious assault, snatching, theft and deception have all fallen, and once again there were no reports involving the use of genuine firearms. Indeed, the overall crime rate of 1 123 cases per 100 000 residents and the detection rate of 45.6 per cent continue to accurately reflect our status as one of the safest major cities in the world.

Domestic violence and youth drug abuse remain areas of particular concern to the community. Although we have introduced numerous practical measures to enhance our approach to these issues in recent years, we continue to work with other Government departments, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and law-enforcement agencies both locally and overseas to build on these initiatives. Despite the levelling off of domestic violence reports in 2008, the harmful effects of this type of violence within the immediate family, and indeed within society as a whole, means we must continue to ensure the highest level of professionalism in dealing with such incidents.

As I pledged last year, during 2008 we also worked closely with the inter-departmental Task Force on Youth Drug Abuse, while at the same time continued to vigorously pursue our prevention, education, publicity and enforcement efforts at all levels of the Force to reduce the involvement of young people and the supply and availability of illicit drugs. Consequent to the recommendations set out by the Task Force, we have been provided with additional resources to strengthen communication with school authorities and students, to enhance the supervision of juveniles cautioned under the Police Superintendent Discretion Scheme, and to improve our capability to gather intelligence. To address this entrenched problem we will continue to adopt a holistic multi-agency and community-based approach in 2009.

The Force also pushed forward a wide range of new and on-going initiatives during 2008 to ensure that we are well positioned to address the constantly evolving challenges of policing our increasingly complex international city. These include steps being taken as part of our fourth Three-Year Strategic Action Plan, launched at the end of 2007, which incorporates directions to further promote engagement with the community, to develop the personal and professional qualities of staff, to enhance support provided to frontline units, and to strengthen our criminal intelligence gathering capability. We also continue to pursue a number of additional projects identified in our strategic planning process as being crucial to the long-term development of the Force. These include, amongst others, advancing our relationship with the Mainland, addressing the rapid development of technology-related crime, and making optimum use of information and communication technology to support our work processes.

The challenge of policing Hong Kong's ever more sophisticated society obviously places significant demands upon our officers in terms of the standards of performance and behaviour expected from them. To address these demands, we have a comprehensive human resource framework in place and have invested heavily to create a caring culture at all levels of the Force. We aim thereby to positively support the professional development and welfare needs of our staff. We will continue to actively pursue such a culture, since a professional, ethical, empathetic, well-supported and motivated workforce is without doubt the key factor in providing a quality police service to the community.

Looking ahead, 2009 will clearly be another busy and challenging year for the Force. Apart from addressing the matters I have already alluded to, we will continuously monitor and review the impact of the global financial crisis, both locally and internationally, to ensure that the Force is well prepared to respond to developing law and order issues in a prudent and professional manner. The Force will also be heavily engaged in facilitating activities connected with a number of significant anniversaries of local and national interests as well as hosting the East Asian Games in December. Furthermore, we are committed to overseeing the successful implementation of a wide range of new legislation, including various initiatives related to road safety and the Independent Police Complaints Committee Ordinance.

In conclusion, I am confident that with the support of the community whose interests we serve and for which we strongly care, our dedicated and professional staff will overcome the challenges the Force is facing. Our aim is to continue to provide the public with the responsive, professional and quality police service for which we have become renowned. This is particularly true in the current economic circumstances and in the difficult period that undoubtedly lies ahead.