Wrong number

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 09 May, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 09 May, 1993, 12:00am

THE residents of Tuen Mun, concerned that a rapist dubbed ''the sex devil'' by the Chinese press has been at large for a year after attacking six victims and killing two, are being asked to foot the bill for video cameras and extra security lighting to make their homes safe.

On Hongkong Island, the wealthy residents of The Peak, where crime rates are comparatively low, are being offered a Dial-a-Gurkha service. They will, for a fee, be able to call up a former member of the British Army if they suspect anything is amiss.

Though the two locations may be far apart, the problem is similar: a general unease over law and order, and the police's ability to control it.

But are we responding to this fear in the appropriate manner? It is surely not right that public housing tenants, perhaps some of the territory's poorest citizens, should be asked to pay for essential safety improvements.

It must also be wrong that residents of The Peak should have such little faith in the police that they feel the need for an elite ''private army''.

Public security is a shared burden, whether you live in a Tuen Mun flat or a Peak mansion. It is the responsibility of the police force. Especially a force so proud to be known as No. 1.