Law restricts police powers

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 11 February, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 11 February, 1993, 12:00am

I REFER to the letter headlined, ''Police did nothing'' (South China Morning Post, February 4), in which a correspondent criticised police for not taking action against young drinkers queueing for Rugby Sevens tickets.

In particular, the letter questioned how young people could be convinced that underage drinking is illegal if they are allowed to ''get away with it'', and whether there was only a crackdown on selling alcohol in places such as grocery stores.

As the law stands, it is not illegal for a person of any age to purchase alcohol from a shop or supermarket, or to drink it in the street or other public place. In these circumstances, it would clearly have been inappropriate, and indeed illegal, for police to have taken the suggested action of confiscation and arrest.

It is precisely this legal situation which has prompted public concern in the aftermath of the Lan Kwai Fong tragedy and led to calls for changes to the law. In the interim, may I respectfully suggest that it is for parents to do all they can to exerciseappropriate control.

ERIC LOCKEYEAR Chief Staff Officer Public Relations for Commissioner of Police