MUNICIPAL staff carrying out raids against illegal hawkers were facing more threats from triads members controlling the hawking business, staff unions claimed yesterday. According to the Federation of Urban Services Department (USD) and Regional Services Department (RSD) Staff Unions, there were up to four cases in the past three months in which members were assaulted on their way to work. Vice-chairman Mr Yuen Su believed the attackers were triads who extorted money from illegal hawkers operating under their control. Chairman Mr Mok Hing-cheung said: ''Some of our colleagues were followed and verbally threatened by triads members who claimed they knew where our staff lived and could identify their family members.'' Mr Yuen said there were triad elements in almost every district. Yuen Long, Kwai Chung, Shamshuipo, Sau Mau Ping, Causeway Bay, Kennedy Town and Chai Wan were regarded as blackspots. The two municipal councils confirmed an increase in the number of general duties staff injured during raids. The RSD said in four cases hawkers were armed. Last Monday six foremen trying to catch a hawker in Sha Tin were attacked by 10 armed men. The Regional Council has set up a working group on illegal hawking and illegal shop extensions to review legislations and policies. Legislator and Regional Councillor, Mr Albert Chan Wai-yip, who is a member of the group, said it was studying a ticketing system, similar to the one used against illegal parking, as a replacement for the present procedure. ''The present procedure in which the municipal staff need to take the hawkers to the nearest police station for prosecution is too time-consuming and hence restricts them from arresting more illegal hawkers,'' Mr Chan said. He said members of the group were also considering the possibility of a staff suggestion to second policemen to anti-hawking teams. The group was trying to appeal against some court penalties which it considered too low to act as a deterrent, Mr Chan said. He cited the example of a hawker committing an offence for the 22nd time and being fined between $200 and $300. Other areas of the review, which is expected to be completed in two months, include considering giving surveillance staff weapons for self-defence. According to the USD, there were 77 injuries last year compared with 68 in 1991. There were 15 cases in the first two months of this year. But a USD spokeswoman said illegal hawking in urban areas was under control. The RSD failed to provide figures for 1991 but there were less cases of injury to its staff than the 34 reported last year. There have been nine cases so far this year. RSD senior staff officer, Mr Lai Kwok-tung, said the increase in the number of injuries to staff was related to the change in strategy from patrolling to active raiding. ''With the increasing number of raids, the chance of our foremen getting hurt rises as the chance of confrontation with the illegal hawkers increases,'' Mr Lai said.