Police plan to increase intelligence exchanges with China despite figures showing the number of illegal immigrants has dropped by 17 per cent. Crime figures to be released today for the first quarter of the year will also show an overall reduction compared to the first three months of last year. Commissioner of Police Eddie Hui Ki-on briefed the Executive Council yesterday. The number of burglaries and robberies in the first three months of this year was down on the first quarter of 1995, and there was a reduction in the general crime trend. 'The figures are quite encouraging,' a senior source said. Statistics for illegal immigrants showed 5,886 mainlanders were arrested during the first quarter of this year, compared to 7,059 in the same period last year. Assistant Commissioner of Police (Operations) Dick Lee Ming-kwai believed this was due to better policing. New measures included increased use of a thermal image system, to detect body warmth in bushes, supplemented by infrared night vision goggles. 'The Chinese side has also stepped up its border patrol,' Mr Lee said. He said it had recently been agreed that intelligence exchange with the mainland on illegal immigrants would be stepped up.