Police Pact Signed With HK

A long-awaited mutual notification system to boost co-operation between police on the mainland and that of Hong Kong SAR will come into operation January 1.

Liao Xiaocun, director of the Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan Affairs Office under the Ministry of Public Security, and Hong Kong Secretary for Security Regina Ip Suk-yee signed the agreement to set up the system yesterday morning in Beijing.

Ip lauded the deal as "a breakthrough" in strengthened links between police on the two sides.

The agreement underlined the commitment made by the mainland public security authorities to put the notification system in place, Ip said.

Under the system, police on each side are obliged to notify, "at the earliest time," the other side of cases involving criminal coercive measures or prosecution against residents of the other side and deaths of the other side's residents.

Criminal coercive measures on the mainland include enforced interrogation, awaiting trial on bail, house arrest, detention and arrest.

Special liaison teams will be set up in the Ministry of Public Security and Hong Kong Police Force to take charge of the operation of the system.

As for cases including smuggling and other illegal activities related to customs, the Bureau of Smuggling Crimes Investigation under the General Administration of Customs will be responsible for notification.

In case of any omission or query during the process of notification, each side may demand further inquiry at any time, according to the system, which will be put to regular review once in operation.

Ip, who is in Beijing for the eighth World Conference of Asia Crime Prevention Foundation, said the system will help better protect the legitimate interests of Hong Kong residents on the mainland.

All police departments on the mainland, whether in large cities or remote areas, are required to honour the agreement.

(People's Daily 10/14/2000)

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