Hong Kong 2006
Chapter 16:
Public Order
Fight Crime Committee
Police Force
Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC)
Customs and Excise
Narcotics Division
Independent Commission Against Corruption
Government Laboratory
Immigration Department
Fire Services
Correctional Services
Commissioner on Interception of Communications and Surveillance
Civil Aid Service
Government Flying Service
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Table of Contents Constitution and Administration The Legal System The Economy Financial and Monetary Affairs Commerce and Industry Employment Education Health Food Safety, Environmental Hygiene, Agriculture and Fisheries Social Welfare Housing Land, Public Works and Utilities Transport The Environment Travel and Tourism Public Order Communications, the Media and Information Technology Religion and Custom Recreation, Sport and the Arts Population and Immigration History Appendices PRINT
Police Force

The Hong Kong Police Force is committed to protecting the public, preventing and detecting crime, maintaining law and order, ensuring smooth traffic operations, reducing the number of traffic accidents, and stamping out illegal immigration.

During the year, Hong Kong remained one of the safest cities in the world, with the Police Force sparing no effort in combating violent crimes, triad activities and drug offences. The Police Force was also responsible for providing a safe and secure environment while maintaining law, order and public safety during the International Telecommunication Union TELECOM WORLD 2006 in December.

At year-end, the Police Force had an establishment of about 27 300 police officers supported by more than 4 700 civilian staff and reinforced by some 3 900 volunteers serving in the Hong Kong Auxiliary Police Force. In 2006, 56 inspectors and 1 130 constables were appointed.

Hong Kong Auxiliary Police Force

On a day-to-day basis, the Auxiliary Police Force supports its regular counterparts on crowd management at large-scale events and carries out pre-planned operations. It also assists in handling natural disasters and civil emergencies. In an internal security situation, the force will guard strategic and sensitive installations, and man command centres.


Reported crimes in 2006 totalled 81 125, an increase of 4.8 per cent compared to 77 437 in 2005. The crime rate stood at 1 183 cases per 100 000 population, a rise of 4.1 per cent compared to 1 137 in 2005. The increase in crimes was mainly due to the rise in thefts, deceptions and serious assaults.

During the year, the number of violent crimes increased to 14 847, a rise of 6.9 per cent compared to 13 890 in 2005. Robberies, woundings and serious assaults accounted for 65.1 per cent of total violent crimes in 2006.

Altogether, there were 1 574 robberies in 2006, a drop of 6 per cent compared to 1 675 in 2005. There was one robbery with genuine firearms, compared to three in 2005. There were 23 bank robberies, or eight more than in 2005. Most of these were perpetrated by lone robbers without resorting to serious violence.

The number of burglaries fell from 5 492 in 2005 to 5 315 in 2006, a drop of 3.2 per cent. Serious narcotics offences increased from 1 780 in 2005 to 2 122 in 2006, a rise of 19.2 per cent. Thefts rose from 35 213 in 2005 to 37 089 in 2006, up by 5.3 per cent.

Of the reported crimes in 2006, 44.6 per cent or 36 192 crimes were detected, with 42 228 people arrested for various criminal offences. Of those, 4 510 were aged between 10 and 15 and 4 974 were aged between 16 and 20. Most of them were arrested for shop thefts, miscellaneous thefts, wounding and serious assaults, and robberies. Drug-related offences were also prevalent among the crimes committed by young offenders.

Incidents involving firearms remained at a low level. There were five reported incidents involving the use of firearms, compared to four in the previous year, and 10 firearms were seized during the year. The Police continue to carry out intelligence-led operations and strategic exchange of intelligence with the relevant authorities in other jurisdictions.

In 2006, 1 774 vehicles were reported missing compared with 1 592 in 2005, an increase of 11.4 per cent. The increase was probably due to a rise in demand for vehicles and vehicle parts in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia. But the number fell in the second half of the year following vigorous enforcement action.

There was a steady decline in organised and triad-related crimes, attributed to sustained and concerted enforcement action. In 2006, a total of 2 396 triad-related cases were recorded, accounting for 3 per cent of the total of 81 125 reported crimes.

To tackle activities committed by organised crime groups and triad societies, over 85 intelligence-led operations targeting certain individuals and their sources of revenue were carried out successfully, resulting in the arrest of more than 280 people for offences such as extortion, loan sharking, syndicated vice, vehicle crimes, gambling and being members of a triad society. Some of these operations were conducted with neighbouring jurisdictions such as the Mainland, Macao, Malaysia, Singapore and Australia as cross-border criminal activities increased in recent years.

During World Cup 2006, 191 raids were conducted against illegal football gambling, resulting in the arrest of 196 people and the seizure of betting slips worth $75 million, 84 computers and eight internet servers. As a result, major gambling syndicates in Hong Kong were neutralised.

Domestic Violence, Child Abuse and Elder Abuse

The Police received 4 704 reports of domestic violence during the year, 1 811 of which were crime-related and 2 893 were miscellaneous, representing a rise of 79 per cent compared to 2005. The increase is believed to be due to greater public awareness of domestic violence created by the Government's publicity and education campaigns, and more people now see the importance of seeking early assistance.

The Force is committed to responding promptly and professionally to all reports of domestic violence through a series of enhanced measures and training for frontline officers in handling and investigating these cases.

In November, an emergency referral questionnaire was introduced as an effective risk assessment tool to assist officers in identifying risk factors and in taking appropriate actions to deal with domestic violence cases. At the same time, special units were set up to investigate serious domestic violence cases. Frontline supervision and management at divisional level are strengthened during the initial stages of investigation to ensure closer collaboration with welfare units. Training to enhance officers' awareness of family dynamics, sensitivities and cross discipline exchanges will be the focus in future.

Commercial Crime

The Commercial Crime Bureau continued to carry out actively intelligence-led investigations into syndicated crimes, serious fraud, counterfeit and forgery cases as well as technology crimes.

Collaboration with the Customs and Excise Department (C&ED), the payment card industry and courier service companies resulted in the interception and seizure of 95 per cent of all of the 2 991 counterfeit credit cards seized during the year.

Technology crimes rose by 13.5 per cent in 2006 compared with 2005, but they were mostly minor offences. The Technology Crime Division continued to maintain close contact with its regional and local partners.


Tackling the illicit drugs problem was a prime task of the Police Force during the year. The Police played an active part in anti-drugs campaigns carried out in schools and throughout Hong Kong.

The number of people arrested for drug-related offences increased during the year. In particular, there was a significant rise in arrests related to ketamine. There was also a substantial rise in the amount of the drug seized. The total haul comprised several large seizures including one that weighed a record 549 kilogrammes.

With the rise in popularity of cocaine in recent years, action against trafficking in this drug was stepped up, resulting in an increase in the number of cocaine-related arrests made in 2006.

Numerous attempts by traffickers to smuggle drugs across boundaries were foiled and many arrests were made as a result of close collaboration among government agencies in Hong Kong, the Mainland and other jurisdictions. A number of illicit drugs factories in the Asia-Pacific region were torn down and several large consignments of drugs were prevented from reaching their markets.

Financial Investigation

Financial investigation is recognised globally as essential to the fight against organised crime and terrorist financing.

During the year, the Police Force participated in a number of local and international initiatives to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. In September, the Force co-organised a series of anti-money laundering seminars for officers from financial institutions such as banks, securities, insurance and remittance firms, and money lenders. Representatives from non-financial businesses and professions such as real estate agents, precious metals and gem dealers, and corporate formation agents were also invited to the seminars to increase their awareness of money laundering.

Illegal Immigration

During the year, 3 173 illegal immigrants from the Mainland were arrested by the Police, an average of nine per day, representing an increase of 45 per cent compared to 2 191 in 2005. The increase in arrests is attributed to the successful joint operations carried out by the Police Force, Immigration Department and their Mainland counterparts. Close liaison in the form of regular meetings and exchange of intelligence was maintained with the Guangdong Border Defence Bureau.

Crime Prevention

The Crime Prevention Bureau continually urges members of the community to do more to protect themselves and their property.

In 2006, the bureau gave talks on crime prevention to other government departments and various sectors of the business community. Seminars on topics such as workplace violence and personal safety were also conducted. In addition, the bureau ran several training courses for officers in other police formations engaged in crime prevention work.

On the publicity front, several publicity campaigns targeting prevalent crimes such as telephone and street deceptions were carried out. In addition, a new display room was set up at Police Headquarters in Wan Chai to show visitors the kind of security equipment currently available in the market, and how such equipment could improve the security of their homes and other premises.

Forensic Support

The Identification Bureau plays a significant role in supporting crime investigations and prosecutions by providing a professional fingerprint and photographic service and by collecting DNA evidence from crime scenes. In 2006, the bureau compiled the criminal history of 25 852 individuals which enabled it to link 1 304 people to 1 234 cases.

Preparing for the replacement of the Computer Assisted Fingerprint Identification System was one of the bureau's major tasks this year. The system is expected to be in place by the end of December 2007.

The Forensic Firearms Examination Bureau provides quality and efficient forensic firearms examination service to the Hong Kong criminal justice system. It is also responsible for inspecting licensed modified firearms used as props in film productions. The bureau is accredited by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board, an acknowledgement that reflects the bureau's integrity and service quality.


In 2006, the Interpol China National Central Bureau won the bid to host the 20th Asia Regional Conference of the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) in Hong Kong in 2008. As a sub-bureau of the Interpol China National Central Bureau, the Police Force will co-host the biennial event.

During the year, the Police Force continued to send officers to the Interpol General Secretariat in Lyon, France and to the Regional Liaison Office in Bangkok, Thailand on secondment. The arrangement has facilitated liaison with the international law enforcement bodies and at the same time broadened the Police Force's vision and perspective of related global issues.

Explosive Ordnance Disposal

The Explosive Ordnance Disposal Bureau is responsible for all bomb disposal work in Hong Kong. In July 2006, the bureau moved into a world-class facility for explosive ordnance disposal, training and counter-terrorism operations. This new purpose-built depot meets modern safety standards and complies with international best practices.

Police Dogs

There are about 120 police dogs serving in the Police Dog Unit. The dogs are deployed regularly to assist the Police in their operations throughout the territory. Specialist search dogs, kept at two operational bases, are used for searching dangerous drugs, explosives and firearms, as well for tracking objects or people. Police dogs also play an important role in many police operations.

Public Order

The Police Force continued to keep Hong Kong stable and safe by giving its officers up-to-date training in internal security, public order and crowd management. They are also given refresher courses regularly. After gaining valuable experience from their handling of the security aspects of the World Trade Organisation Hong Kong Ministerial Conference held in Hong Kong in 2005, the Police Tactical Unit played host to police officers from the Mainland, Macao and a few other jurisdictions which wanted to learn from Hong Kong.

Police Licensing Office

The Police Licensing Office is responsible for handling notifications of public order events. In conjunction with the Department of Justice, it issued in February a document entitled 'Guidelines on the approach to the Public Order Ordinance in relation to public meetings and public processions' to help frontline officers and the public better understand the laws and policing principles relating to the handling of public order events. During the year, 1 303 notifications of public order events were processed.

The Police Licensing Office is also responsible for issuing various types of licence and permit. In 2006, it processed 3 620 applications for liquor licences. At the end of the year, there were 181 licensed massage establishments, 190 licensed pawnbrokers, 5 046 liquor licensed premises and 275 708 valid security personnel permit holders in Hong Kong.

Marine Region

The Police have embarked on a Versatile Maritime Policing Response strategy, which aims at significantly improving maritime policing at a reduced cost. In 2006, contracts were issued for the procurement of two barge platforms and 17 medium patrol launches which will be delivered in 2007 while continuing to evaluate tenders for a Central Command System and a Divisional Fast Patrol Craft. Full implementation of the strategy is expected to be completed by 2010.

In 2006, Marine Region also stepped up action against smuggling at sea. With full cooperation from the C&ED, Marine Department and Immigration Department, as well as from law enforcement agencies of the Mainland, the crackdown on syndicated smuggling activities was very successful. The amount of contraband seized in 2006 was worth $270 million, a record for the region.


In 2006, there were 14 849 traffic accidents involving casualties, representing a decrease of 1.4 per cent compared with 2005 and 135 fatal traffic accidents, representing a fall of 2.9 per cent compared to the previous year. During the year, 450 252 fixed-penalty tickets for moving offences were issued, an increase of 1.1 per cent compared with 2005. Police officers and traffic wardens issued a total of 631 669 tickets for parking offences, which represented an increase of 10.4 per cent compared with 2005. There were 55 286 summonses issued to traffic offenders, a drop of 18.9 per cent compared with 2005.

Public Relations

The Police Public Relations Branch (PPRB) plays a key role in informing the public about the work of the Police in order to project a positive image of the Police Force and to enlist public support for maintaining law and order through a proactive community relations programme.

Police Community Relations officers attached to different districts keep the public well informed of police policies and operational priorities while the Junior Police Call (JPC) Scheme and the Secondary School Liaison Officers Programme serve as bridges between the Police and young people.

PPRB worked with Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) and Cable TV to produce several television programmes including the highly acclaimed Police Magazine to keep the public abreast of crime trends and to appeal for information to assist crime investigations. It also assisted different film companies and television stations during the year to produce police-related dramas and documentaries.

Information relating to police activities is disseminated to local and overseas media organisations round the clock. PPRB also produced a number of publications, including the biweekly newspaper OffBeat, the JPC monthly newsletter, the Police in Figures leaflet and the Police Review 2005 which won an Honourable Mention in the 2006 Best Annual Report Awards organised by the Hong Kong Management Association. PPRB also assisted the Fight Crime Committee in planning and implementing the Fight Crime Publicity Campaign 2006-07 which carried the theme 'Beware of Deceptions and Thefts'.

In 2006, the Police Force bestowed the Good Citizen Award on 79 citizens for assisting the Police in their fight against crime.

Police telephone hotlines and Crime Information Forms provide convenient channels for reporting crime. A total of 21 284 hotline phone calls — excluding those made to the '999' hotline — and 1 635 returned Crime Information Forms were recorded by year-end, resulting in 745 arrests.

Planning and Development

The new purpose-built Marine Outer Waters District Headquarters-cum-Marine North Division Operational Base in Ma Liu Shui was completed in April 2006 and was fully operational by August.

Funding for the construction of a new annex block adjacent to the existing Waterfront Divisional Police Station to accommodate the Central District Headquarters and Central Divisional Police Station was approved by the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council in July. The building is scheduled for completion by the end of 2009. The project will facilitate the amalgamation of the Central and Waterfront Police Divisions.

Information and Communication Technology

The award-winning third generation Command and Control Communications System, which was brought out in March 2006, became the main communications platform for the Police Force. It has contributed to the efficiency of the Police Force. The Police will continue to upgrade their information and communications systems over time.


The Hong Kong Police College which opened in January marked the beginning of a new period of police training. The new college is committed not only to ensuring professional police training in Hong Kong, but to inculcating a lifelong learning culture within the Force and strengthening collaboration with its Mainland and overseas counterparts, as well as other external training partners.

In line with this philosophy, the Police Force chose the Open University of Hong Kong as its partner in drawing up two modules for a Recruit Police Constable Foundation Training Course. The first batch of recruits to receive training under the programme graduated from the college in July 2006.

The Force also continued to enhance its collaboration with law enforcement agencies on the Mainland and other jurisdictions through various training exchange programmes.

Occupational Safety and Health

A Police Force Safety Management System designed to ensure compliance with laws and regulations governing occupational safety and health matters was introduced in 2004. During the year, about 80 officers of Superintendent rank or above had received training in risk management and risk control to reduce the chances of accidents occurring that can cause physical harm to staff members. About 1 380 inspectorate officers and their civilian counterparts were also given training in predictive risk assessment and retrospective accident investigation.

The Force Safety Management System was further developed and improved through lessons learned during training courses conducted in 2006. The system, which meets internationally-recognised standards, won two Gold Awards presented at the Hong Kong Occupational Safety and Health Council Awards 2006 ceremony.

Service Quality

The Force continues to strengthen its service culture and professionalism to provide the community with an efficient, professional and cost-effective service.

Information and knowledge are key to a quality service. A knowledge management enhancement scheme was rolled out throughout the Police Force in May 2006 to provide it with a portal on the Internet, which all members of the Force can access to obtain useful information on subjects related to their work.

Complaints Against Police

The Complaints and Internal Investigations Branch, which is independent from other police departments, investigates public complaints against members of the Police Force. The investigations are monitored by the Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC).

In 2006, the Complaints Against Police Office (CAPO) received 2 542 complaints, a decrease of 152 cases, or 5.6 per cent, compared to 2005. Decreases were recorded in all types of complaints. Complaint prevention awareness through education and other activities organised by the Complaints Prevention Committee will continue to be a priority.

During the year, the IPCC endorsed the investigation results of 2 114 complaint cases, involving 3 518 allegations. The substantiation rate of these investigated allegations was 9.9 per cent. Complaints of a minor or trivial nature were dealt with by informal resolution, a method adopted in 21 per cent of the complaints. Disciplinary action was taken against nine police officers as a result of public complaints.

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