Hong Kong sees more crimes in 2019 due to violent protests
The government of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) recorded more crimes in the first 11 months of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018, John Lee, secretary for Security of the HKSAR government said here Wednesday.
Lee said in the Legislative Council of the HKSAR that crime figures in the first half of 2019 showed a downward trend, but the numerous processions and demonstrations and rioters' violent acts since June had led to a deterioration in the region's law and order situation.
From January to November last year, 52,250 crimes were recorded, representing an increase of 4.2 percent over 50,122 crimes recorded during the same period in 2018.
The overall crime detection rate in the first 11 months of 2019 was 36.1 percent, lower than the rate of 42.9 percent during the same period in the preceding year.
Lee said the police devoted considerable manpower to handle more than 1,200 public order events and rioters' violent acts in the past six months. Routine policing work such as crime prevention and patrols was affected as a result.
From June 9 last year to Jan. 2 this year, the police had arrested a total of 6,943 persons in major public order events. Various offences were involved, including "taking part in a riot," "unlawful assembly," "arson," "wounding," "assault occasioning actual bodily harm," "criminal damage," "assaulting police officer," "obstructing a police officer in the execution of the officer's duty" and "in possession of offensive weapons."
Among the 6,943 arrestees, 1,082 persons already entered into or were in the course of legal proceedings, 338 persons had been released unconditionally, and the cases of 5,523 persons were still under investigation.
Maintaining good public order relies on police officers' efforts and citizens abiding by the law, Lee said.
"If members of the public turn a blind eye to violent acts of rioters and refuse to co-operate or even obstruct police's law enforcement operations, or condone even further assaulting against police officers, deterioration in public order is the price we have to pay," he said.
The Security Bureau of the HKSAR government has been coordinating the work among disciplined services to stop violence and curb disorder, he added.