Police getting free sex, prostitute survey claims

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 14 August, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 14 August, 2011, 12:00am


Undercover police had sex with prostitutes and free massages before arresting the women involved, a survey of sex workers has found.

There were 34 cases of violence and abuse by police officers in the three months to the end of June, far exceeding the number of cases involving other clients, said the sex workers' rights group Zi Teng, which conducted the survey.

The group said it was infuriated by the results, gathered through interviews with prostitutes and masseuses in Sham Shui Po and Yau Ma Tei, where the sex trade is most active. In five cases, undercover police received free massages, and four others received free sexual services.

Other forms of abuse included repeated or 'excessive' licence checks and premises inspections, women being forced to sign testimonies they did not understand because of a language barrier, and the destruction of evidence, including 'no sex' signs, which women could have used to defend themselves against a charge of running a vice establishment.

There was also a case of arbitrary arrest, caused by personal animosity between the woman and the police officer, said Betty Shao Limin, who works for the group.

The survey, the first of its kind, was published in the group's newsletter. New figures will be released every three months, group founder Yim Yue-lin said.

'The police seem to think they have special power. They receive their service or arrest them whenever they please,' Yim said.

'The reasonable way for the police to do their job is to stop receiving the service once it has clearly begun, but all reported cases showed that they did not reveal their identity until after the entire service had ended,' Yim said. 'It's a disgrace.'

A police spokesman said undercover policemen worked to a strict set of guidelines. For example, during the course of their duty they could receive masturbation from a prostitute, but not any sexual service beyond that. The officers work under the direction of deputy regional commanders or senior superintendents.

The spokesman had no comment on why masturbation was allowed and why the line was drawn there.

Prostitution is legal in Hong Kong, but most activities connected to it are not. Performing massages outside licensed parlours is illegal.


the approximate number of establishments in Mong Kok alone that offer sexual services, according to Zi Teng's website