Chief says grievances abound, but we're stable at heart

PUBLISHED : Friday, 16 January, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 16 January, 2004, 12:00am

Police Commissioner Dick Lee yesterday expressed concern over the double-digit growth in so-called 'grievance-type' crimes, including assaults on police officers, which jumped more than 50 per cent.

But he said the force noted growth in such crimes had slowed in the second half of last year and they believed the general mood in society was stable. Assaults on police officers soared 52 per cent, from 399 cases in 2002 to 607 cases last year.

Criminal damage was up 22.9 per cent, to 7,608 cases, and criminal intimidation rose 10.4 per cent, to 933 cases.

Mr Lee said a team of officers was closely monitoring the mood of society, taking into consideration the number of demonstrations, the unemployment rate and the demands of the public.

'Compared with other cities, the stability in Hong Kong was maintained at a very high level,' he said.

The force was studying ways to minimise conflicts with the public by analysing cases that involved a challenge to police authority.

They hoped to discover if clashes stemmed from a misunderstanding of police power or a lack of skill in dealing with the public.