In the first quarter of 2023, Hong Kong saw a threefold increase in the number of visitors arrested for committing crimes in the city.
According to police figures, 499 travelers were detained on suspicion of committing various offenses, including pickpocketing, shop burglary, and theft of unattended valuables.
Some female overstayers were also arrested in vice operations.
The rise in crime is part of a larger trend since the resumption of global travel, as authorities have also noticed an increase in drug-trafficking syndicates using couriers to move narcotics.
A police source commented on the recent increase in crime, saying, "Crime has been creeping up in Hong Kong since the outbreak of COVID
-19, and we're seeing more and more visitors committing crimes in the city.
We need to stay vigilant and work to prevent these kinds of incidents from happening." The source went on to say that some of the crimes committed by visitors were particularly concerning, such as thefts from tourists on the street or in public transportation.
The government has taken steps to address the increase in crime, including the hiring of additional police officers and the implementation of new security measures at tourist hotspots.
However, visitors are also being urged to take steps to protect themselves and their belongings while in Hong Kong.
The police have advised travelers to be aware of their surroundings and to keep their valuables secure, while the government has launched an awareness campaign to educate visitors on how to stay safe in the city.
Overall, the recent increase in crime in Hong Kong is a cause for concern, but authorities are working to address the issue and ensure the safety of visitors and locals alike.