Police admit defeat over sex shops

PUBLISHED : Monday, 22 July, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 22 July, 1996, 12:00am

Hardcore sex video shops are spreading across Kowloon's red light districts but police say there is little they can do because of insufficient manpower and lenient laws.

While many older shops operated by triads store video tapes outside the premises, making it difficult for police to act, some new ones blatantly exhibit their products with no fear of police raids.

'We have been raided several times this year,' said one operator, who worked in a pornography shop in Mongkok. 'You pay the $1,000 fine and close shop for a few days. Then you open again.' His shop, which sells tapes featuring the most extreme forms of sadomasochism and bestiality, is located in a computer game shopping centre that caters to teenagers.

Photos taken from sex videos are posted on the wall to help customers make selections, and each tape costs $150.

Wendy Lee Yuk-mui, who sells video games next door, said: 'I think it's disgusting. I wish the police would just close it down.' But Mongkok District Commander Chief Superintendent Richard Best admitted police were powerless to fight these operators when their profits far exceeded any fine the police could impose.

'It's difficult to get at these people,' he said. 'We have a manpower problem and there are more than 300 vice establishments in this district.' Democratic Party legislator Cheng Kar-foo said there was nothing anyone could do until the Government and the public were willing to set up a licensing system.