Commissioner Tang Ping-keung reviewed the overall law and order situation of Hong Kong in 2020 and outlined the work focuses of the Force in 2021 at a press conference on February 2. Deputy Commissioner (Management) Kwok Yam-shu, Deputy Commissioner (Operations) Siu Chak-yee and Deputy Commissioner (National Security) Lau Chi-wai also attended the press conference.
Overall law and order situation in HK
The overall number of crimes reported in 2020 was 63 232 cases, representing an increase of 4 007 cases (+6.8%) when compared with 59 225 cases in 2019. Violent crimes dropped by 299 cases (-3.1%) from 9 690 cases to 9391 cases. The detection rates for overall crimes rose slightly in 2020 by 0.7 percentage points from 37.1% to 37.8%.
The overall crimes registered an increase of 4 007 cases, mainly due to the rise of over 7 000 deception cases. In addition, blackmail and crime types that were detected by Police’s proactive actions, including serious drug, serious gambling and organised vice offences, recorded relatively significant increases ranging from about 20% to 55%.The rise was mainly attributable to the fact that the violence and law-breaking situation arising from the “anti-extradition amendment bill” related incidents have eased since last year, Police have deployed resources flexibly and mounted intelligence-led operations to combat the above offences proactively.
Though the number of crimes in 2020, as compared with 2019, has increased by 6.8%, a drop of 4% was recorded for the overall crimes when comparing the figures of the first and second half of 2020. A substantial drop of about 60% was recorded for robbery. A drop of about 20% was noted for burglary. The types of crimes in relation to the “anti-extradition amendment bill” incidents (arson, criminal damage, offences against public order, etc.) also registered decreases ranging from about 10% to 70%, indicating that the law and order situation has gradually resumed stable.
The law and order situation in Hong Kong saw substantial improvement. In addition to Police’s strict law enforcement, the deterrent effect of Court sentences for riots and violence cases and public’s rejection towards illegal acts, The Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (“National Security Law”) which was promulgated on June 30 last year also facilitated the restoration and maintenance of social order.
Safeguarding national security
During the press conference, the Commissioner mentioned that national security has been added to the Commissioner’s Operational Priorities 2021. Police will adopt a three-pronged approach, comprising intelligence, enforcement as well as publicity and education, in order to prevent and combat acts and activities that endanger national security.
As at February 1, 2021, Police arrested a total of 97 persons for suspected “secession”, “subversion”, “terrorist activities”, “collusion with a foreign country or with external elements” and “providing pecuniary or other financial assistance or property for the commission by other persons of the offence of secession”; some suspected of “uttering any seditious words”, “fraud”, “money laundering”, etc. Of these, eight persons have been prosecuted.
The fight against the epidemic
Police have made use of the Major Incident Investigation and Disaster Support System (MIIDSS “supercomputer”), with 40 officers dedicated to providing assistance in analysing about 10 000 cases; and crime officers were deployed to conduct field investigations for more than 1 000 cases, with a view to tracing transmission sources, analysing transmission hotspots and super spreader.
Police also seconded 50 officers in assisting the Department of Health for investigation and prosecution against offenders, and 40 officers working in the newly established cases tracing office to carry out contact tracing work of confirmed cases.
Moreover, Police regularly deployed officers to different entry points and quarantine centres. Police also assisted with the implementation of the quarantine order; conducted spot checks and tracked down offenders who had violated compulsory quarantine orders; conducted compulsory testing for designated premises; carried out inspection and enforcement action in respect of “no-gathering order”, “mask order” and subject premises.
At present, the epidemic across the globe and Hong Kong is still fluctuating, Police members will stand steadfast at their posts and dedicate themselves to preventing and stopping the epidemic through concerted efforts with various government departments.
Work focuses in 2021
Firstly, to advance the work on safeguarding national security. Police will proactively collect and analyse intelligence concerning national security to combat any acts endangering national security, through taking resolute action to enforce the law by arresting the offenders to protect Hong Kong citizens’ safety and interests.
Secondly, to focus on fighting crime and preventing crime. This year, Police will focus on dealing with issues of law and order situation and livelihood conditions of public concerns. Apart from conducting intelligence-led operations and stepping up patrols, Police strive to work closely with the community and make good use of technology to combat cybercrime, fraud, violence, vice, gambling activities, drug-related offences, burglary, robbery, etc. Effective traffic enforcement will also be in place.
Thirdly, to enhance community engagement. Police will adopt a proactive and extensive public relations strategy, readily clarifying and rebutting fake information, and continuously increasing transparency in parallel so that the public would better understand police work and discern facts from fallacy. Police will adopt a positive approach to strengthen communication with the public proactively, in particular young people, and collaborate with different community sectors and stakeholders to open up communication channels, seizing the opportunity for community engagement and school-outreaching to foster police-community relations and earn public trust and support.
Fourthly, to spare no effort in assisting government’s anti-epidemic work. Police will continue its efforts on quarantine work, spot checks on persons under quarantine at home and conducting “no-gathering order” related enforcement operations. When required, Police will deploy more resources and are determined to fight against the epidemic with the Hong Kong community.
Members of OffBeat Editorial Committee:
|Mr Kenneth Kwok||CSP PPRB (Chairperson)|
|Mr Leung Chung-man||SSP MLC PPRB|
|Ms Jessica Wong||PIO PP PPRB|
|Mr Raymond Lee||CIP MR PPRB|
|Ms Pat Wong||TSRO HKI|
|Ms Rachel Lau||TSRO KW|
|Mr Marco Chan||ATSRO NTN|
|Ms Grace Mak||TSRO NTS|
|Ms Angela Lai||TSRO MAR|
|Ms Will Choi||SIP SR 1|
|Ms Ada Wong||SIP HQ (2) CRM|
|Mr Ma Tak-hung||JPOA REP|
|Editor:||Ivy Leung: 2860-6171|
|Reporter:||Nicole Yim: 2860-6172|
|Photographers:||Hugo Lam: 2860-6174
Lam Yu-san: 2860-6175
|Address:||10/F, Arsenal House, Police Headquarters,
No.1 Arsenal Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
|Deadline for Issue 1179:||February 11, 2021 (before 6pm)
|Deadline for Issue 1180:||March 4, 2021 (before 6pm)
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Published by the Police Public Relations Branch, Hong Kong Police Force