Police told to settle roadblock claims

PUBLISHED : Friday, 23 October, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 23 October, 2009, 12:00am

The Commissioner of Police said yesterday he had asked his officers to ensure the settlement of compensation claims by drivers whose cars were damaged in a 'human roadblock' on the Kwun Tong Bypass on July 13.

Cab driver Wong Wing-cho, whose new taxi was damaged in the incident, had to pay HK$110,000 for repairs.

Commissioner of Police Tang King-shing said he had asked his staff to follow up the cases quickly.

'We hope to settle the problems for these drivers as soon as possible,' he said.

A police spokesman said a report about Wong's compensation claim was sent to the Department of Justice on August 4, and it was still considering whether the cabbie's claim was justified.

The department said it expected a decision soon.

Wong said he had lost confidence in the police.

'I have made at least 10 inquires since the incident but all I receive are words of comfort, no concrete solutions,' he said. 'They lack sincerity to settle my problem.

'The police have not considered the seriousness and importance of this incident. The cab is my livelihood and I cannot earn money if it has broken down. I have had to shoulder all the problems, including the money loss. I am very tired and frustrated.'

Wong had to pay the HK$110,000 repair bill with his credit card because he had to get back to work. The money is due on November 2, but he has no money to pay it.

He is seeking about HK$170,000 compensation in total, including HK$60,000 for loss of earnings while the car was being repaired.

Police used a 'human roadblock' to stop about 14 illegal racers on the bypass early on July 13. They commandeered three taxis, a truck and a private car, which were rammed before the drivers could get out. Six people were injured.

Tang apologised afterwards and said the force would help the victims to settle their claims.

Tang said the overall crime numbers had slightly decreased in the first nine months of this year compared with the same period last year.

The number of crimes dropped 0.5 per cent, from 58,406 between January and September last year to 58,091 this year.

There were 3,228 burglaries, down 9 per cent, and 1,478 stolen vehicles, down 1.1 per cent.

But there were 1,780 cases of criminal intimidation, up 24 per cent.

Tang said police seized more than 80kg of drugs and arrested about 1,300 people since June.

'Combating drugs is the police's responsibility,' he said.

'Apart from this, promotion and education are also vital to tackling drug abuse.'