Drug cases up, but violent crimes fall
The city's crime rate rose 1 per cent from a year earlier between January and the end of October. The biggest rises were in drug offences, theft and deception cases.
Over the period, police dealt with 63,263 crimes. However, the number of violent crimes - including homicides, robberies and rapes - fell by more than 400, to 10,977, and there were also fewer indecent assaults.
Chief Secretary Stephen Lam Sui-lung brushed off the rise in crime, saying the city's detection rate was higher and its crime rate lower than those of other Asian cities.
'Hong Kong's long-term crime-fighting campaign has been effective,' he said at a meeting yesterday of the government's Fight Crime Committee at which the figures were released.
Seizures of marijuana and heroin rose 400 per cent and 158 per cent respectively compared with the same period last year, to 45 kilograms and 155 kilograms respectively, though serious drug offences fell 7.8 per cent.
Cases of theft rose by nearly 900, to 29,377. Cases of deception rose 18 per cent, to 4,977.
Police also dealt with more cases of blackmail and triad-related crime than in the year-earlier period.
Secretary for Security Ambrose Lee Siu-kwong described the increase in the overall crime rate as 'stable'.
He said police efforts to combat teenage criminality would continue.
The committee provides advice and recommends measures to prevent and reduce crime. It also co-ordinates crime-fighting.