Eagle eye on the hawkers
I REFER to the letter by K. Y. Kung (South China Morning Post, February 26) headlined ''Get tough'', putting forth suggestions to combat hawker problems.
Under the provisions of the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance, Cap. 132, the maximum penalties for unlicensed hawking are a $2,500 fine and one month's imprisonment on first conviction and a $5,000 fine and six month's imprisonment on secondor any subsequent conviction.
In addition, the offender's equipment and commodities are subject to mandatory forfeiture.
As far as the maximum penalty prescribed in the law is concerned, we consider it generally appropriate. However, the level of fines imposed in individual cases is a matter for the judiciary.
In enforcing the law against illegal hawking, the Urban Services Department maintains close liaison with the Immigration Department.
The names of foreign visitors arrested for illegal hawking are referred to that department for appropriate action on their part as the competent authority to determine whether the arrested person has breached his or her conditions of stay in Hong Kong.
PAU LAN-CHI Senior Staff Officer (Hawkers) for Director of Urban Services