Border posts step up weekend, holiday vigilance to crack down on youth drug use

PUBLISHED : Friday, 26 June, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 26 June, 2009, 12:00am

More police, customs inspectors and sniffer dogs are being sent to border control points on weekends and during holidays to crack down on cross-border drug trafficking, particularly by young drug users.

Secretary for Security Ambrose Lee Siu-kwong said this yesterday after he met Shenzhen vice-mayor and Municipal Public Security Bureau director Li Ming .

Shortly after his statement, two 14-year-old girls were arrested for drug possession after they were found in an intoxicated state at the Yau Oi Shopping Centre in Tuen Mun by anti-triad police. They had 1.8 grams of suspected ketamine, police said, and were being held last night. One had required hospital treatment.

Mr Lee's meeting with Mr Li followed up on talks between Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen and Shenzhen's acting mayor, Wang Rong , on Tuesday on how the cities could combat worsening teen drug use and drug trafficking.

Mr Lee said Shenzhen authorities had agreed to pass on information about Hong Kong youths found using drugs across the border and send them back after detention in Shenzhen. The information would be passed on to their parents. He said authorities in the two cities would discuss detailed arrangements later.

Mr Li said anti-drug efforts, including distribution of leaflets, had been beefed up at the border before the summer holiday. 'We welcome and remain open to young Hong Kong people coming to Shenzhen for entertainment and purchases but [they should] not use drugs at entertainment premises,' he said.

Meanwhile, leaders of a school for young drug addicts, whose plan to move to Mui Wo on Lantau has sparked opposition in the community, visited six alternative sites suggested by the Heung Yee Kuk in an effort to defuse the row.

Escorted by representatives of the Education Bureau and narcotics division of the Security Bureau, the principal of Christian Zheng Sheng College, Alman Chan Siu-cheuk, and supervisor Jacob Lam Hay-sing toured the sites at Yuen Long, Lam Tei, Sheung Shui, Sai Kung, Lo Wu and Kwai Chung suggested by the kuk on Wednesday.

Mr Lam said they were open to all options. 'We are particularly impressed by the beautiful site in Sai Kung and we will consider all sites suggested by the kuk. But most of them are vacant primary schools and there are not enough classrooms and no laboratories for our students.'

Since December 2006, the college has sought the vacant Heung Yee Kuk New Territories South District Secondary School in Mui Wo as an alternative to its overcrowded premises.

In a Legco motion debate yesterday, kuk chairman and legislator Lau Wong-fat said the suggested sites should be suitable. 'There is a need for the college to relocate, but the needs and worries of Mui Wo residents should also be addressed.'

Democrat lawmakers wore the uniform of the school in the debate to support the school's expansion plan.

'Hong Kong people support the school and recognise its work,' education sector lawmaker Cheung Man-kwong said. 'The college should move into the vacant site in Mui Wo.'