Date
22 September 2017
Andy Tsang tells the media the force's newsletter, Offbeat, gives examples of cooperation between police and the public. Photo: HKEJ
Andy Tsang tells the media the force's newsletter, Offbeat, gives examples of cooperation between police and the public. Photo: HKEJ

Crime rate at new low, but violent crime detection rate falls

Police Commissioner Andy Tsang Wai-hung said the force has done an internal review of how it handled the Occupy protests late last year, Ming Pao Daily reported Wednesday.

The goal was for officers to learn from the experience and be more effective in similar situations in future, he said Tuesday.

At his final annual review of crime in Hong Kong before he retires in May, Tsang said 67,740 crimes were recorded last year, 7.1 percent fewer than in 2013.

The figure is the lowest since 1997, he said, and the crime rate is the lowest for any year since 1973. 

The overall crime detection rate edged up 0.2 percentage point to 43.4 percent last year.

However, the detection rate for violent crimes fell for the second consecutive year, to 61.9 percent from 64.5 percent in 2013 and 65.4 percent in 2012.  

It would be incorrect to say the Occupy protests have had no impact on public order, Tsang said.

A sense of lawlessness is spreading in the city and will do great harm to law and order in the long term, he said. 

Tsang said one of the force’s priorities this year is to enhance the public’s understanding of and support for it.

When asked about the public’s decreased satisfaction with the police, he said he was aware of such reports, but he wondered whether that was the view of a portion of young people or of all Hongkongers.

Tsang reminded reporters that more than 1.8 million people signed a statement in support of the police.

Last year, Robert Chow, convener of the pro-Beijing Alliance for Peace and Democracy against Occupy Central, claimed the group had received 1.8 million signatures during a campaign.

Tsang urged citizens not to act as the judge in the case of the seven police officers alleged to have used excess force against Civic Party member Ken Tsang Kin-chiu during a protest in Admiralty in October.

At a meeting of the Legislative Council’s security panel Tuesday, Tsang insisted the police used zero force on most days during the Occupy protests and tried their best to exercise tolerance and refrain from violence.

Meanwhile, Tsang said 23 police officers were convicted of criminal offences last year, a “very small” number and lower than the 30 in 2013.

Labour Party lawmaker Cyd Ho Sau-lan urged the force not to adopt double standards in investigating cases involving police officers. Ho said mutual trust between the police and the public is very important.

People Power legislator Raymond Chan Chi-chuen questioned the efficiency of the police force in handling cases involving its own members.

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