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Equestrian events a top priority: HK police chief
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Hong Kong Police Commissioner has set out seven priorities identified in 2008, which include the policing of 2008 Olympic Equestrian Events, Hong Kong Police Commissioner Tang King-shing said on Thursday.


He said the plan for policing the equestrian events is being finalized and the Beijing Organizing Committee has liaised with overseas enforcement agencies on anti-terrorist work.


Tang said Hong Kong's terrorist threat level is assessed as "moderate", adding the Force will ensure the equestrian events are held smoothly in a safe environment. Resources will be effectively deployed to manage the events while continuing to offer day-to-day police service.


Deputy Commissioner Tsang Wai-hung said 105 inspectors and 750 officers will be recruited in 2008-09. All divisions will deploy manpower flexibility, taking into account the equestrian events, he added.


Reviewing the Force's work, Tang said Hong Kong's crime situation remains stable, noting there were 80,796 crime cases recorded in Hong Kong last year, down 0.4 percent on 2006.


Tang said the overall crime detection rate rose one percentage point, to 45.6 percent last year. The number of violent crimes increased 0.6 percent to 14,934 cases, and the detection rate grew 2.7 percentage points to 65.5 percent.


Noting there were 18 homicide cases in 2007, Tang said the figure, which was down 48.6 percent on 2006, was the lowest in the past 30 years. Bank robberies went down 65.2 percent to eight and there were no cases of robbery with firearms recorded.


Burglaries fell 15.1 percent last year to 4,512 cases - the lowest since 1976, with 15 percent of the cases related to residential premises. Criminal intimidation cases rose 16.2 percent to 1,960, though, and pick-pocketing cases went up 20.3 percent to 1,198.


Police had 5,386 operations against narcotics offenses last year, up 18.5 percent over 2006. The year saw 2,769 serious narcotics offenses, up 30.5 percent on 2006, with 77.2 percent relating to psychotropic substances. Of the 3,531 people arrested, 922 were young people, twice the 2006 figure.


On last year's drug seizures, the amount of cocaine rose 12 times on 2006 to 200 kg, and "ice" seven times, to 57 kg. The amount of ketamine seized fell 90.2 percent to 99 kg, and the number of ecstasy-type tablets fell 42.7 percent, to 59,714 tablets. The amount of heroin seized also declined 19.2 percent to 42 kg.


Tang said the Force will go all out to combat drug offenses in 2008. Apart from enforcement, cross-sectoral co-operation to prevent youth drug abuse and close ties with overseas counterparts will also be bolstered.


Turning to domestic violence, Tang said the number of cases rose 59.6 percent last year, to 7,509. Of these, 2,505 were considered crime cases. He attributed the rise to people's increasing willingness to report domestic violence.


(Xinhua News Agency February 1, 2008)

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