February 15, 2023
HONG KONG – Safeguarding national security remains the top priority of the Hong Kong Police Force this year, and police will further strengthen intelligence collection to guard against the threat of extreme violence from “homegrown” terrorism, Police Commissioner Raymond Siu Chak-yee said Tuesday.
Siu said in a news conference that police will also launch a new mobile app on Wednesday and distribute 300,000 leaflets to residents on Friday to enhance public awareness of deception cases after the city saw a significant increase in their number in 2022.
He added that, as of Dec 31, police had arrested 236 people under the National Security Law for Hong Kong, and over 140 people had been charged.
The overall social order and national security situation in Hong Kong was stable last year, but the city nevertheless had domestic terrorism cases, and some criminals used online platforms to incite others to participate in illegal acts, Police Commissioner Raymond Siu Chak-yee said
The overall social order and national security situation in Hong Kong was stable last year, but the city nevertheless had domestic terrorism cases, and some criminals used online platforms to incite others to participate in illegal acts, Siu said.
To combat homegrown terrorism, police will continue promoting the Counter-terrorism Reporting Hotline they launched in June to encourage more residents to provide intelligence on terrorism or violence-related crimes.
The hotline has received over 13,000 messages so far, including many leads that were worth following up on, Siu said.
When discussing the law-and-order situation in 2022 in Hong Kong, Siu said the overall number of crimes reported was 70,048 cases, representing an increase of 5,620 cases or 8.7 percent.
The increase was mainly attributed to the rise of over 8,000 deception cases, Siu said. In 2022, the city had 27,923 deception cases, accounting for 40 percent of all crimes. The case number was an increase of 45 percent compared with 2021.
Therefore, over the coming year, the police will launch various measures to combat deception crimes, Siu said.
On Wednesday, police will launch an app called Scameter+ to help residents check suspicious information. Residents will be able to use the app to search for information such as mobile-phone and bank-account numbers, and check the numbers’ authenticity quickly and easily.
In addition, police will distribute 300,000 anti-fraud leaflets to residents. The leaflets, which will be included in free newspapers, will contain common fraudulent techniques and anti-deception measures.
Excluding deception cases, substantial decreases were registered in a number of major crimes, including sexual offenses, criminal intimidation, criminal damage, serious drug offenses, and theft from a vehicle, Siu said.
There were 8,830 cases of violent crime, a drop of 757 cases, or 7.9 percent. The number of robbery and burglary cases was the lowest since records began in 1969. Cases of wounding and serious assault, arson, snatching, and pickpocketing also dropped to a record low since Hong Kong’s return to the motherland.
Nevertheless, police will continue to launch measures to maintain law and order in Hong Kong in the coming year, including strengthening youth work, increasing public trust in the Police Force, and ensuring public events are held in a safe and orderly manner, Siu added.