ONE out of five young people is prepared to respond passively or helplessly in the face of triad harassment, according to a recent survey conducted by the Hongkong Federation of Youth Groups. Family support is one of the most crucial factors in affecting whether a teenager would make the case known when he is harassed. However, the survey, ''Young People's Perception of Triad Societies'', showed that most of the 505 people aged between 10 and 24 interviewed said they would like to make their cases known if they were harassed by triads. They would report to the police (45 per cent) and tell their families (24 per cent), showing these were the two dominant forces of protection which young people would turn to in the event of harassment. Few of them were prepared to tell their teachers (5.7 per cent) or friends and classmates (2.1 per cent). But nearly 20 per cent of respondents would react passively by avoiding the triads (seven per cent), doing nothing (six per cent) or showing ignorance of what to do (8.6 per cent). The survey also showed that nearly 80 per cent of the respondents believed there was triad activity in their schools. Analysis showed that secondary pupils, aged between 15 and 19 in particular, were most aware of such kinds of triad infiltration. Respondents generally feel that triads have considerable influence in Hongkong and almost 40 per cent think that the power of triad societies in the territory will be greater after 1997 although the reasons were not studied. When asked how they would react if someone they knew were a triad member, most respondents indicated that they would keep them at a distance. However, 25 per cent would still maintain the relationship. Half of the respondents described triad leaders as wicked, one-quarter did not know what to say. But about 10 per cent gave them positive attributes, considering them to be authoritative or chivalrous. Executive Councillor Rosanna Wong Yick-ming, who is also executive director of the federation, expressed concern over youth perceptions of triad infiltration. Miss Wong quoted statistics released by the police showing that 1,742 juveniles under the age of 16 were arrested during the first quarter of this year, an increase of 8.5 per cent over the same period last year. She said glamourising triads in movies or television might send a wrong signal to young people. Meanwhile, another survey carried out in Tsuen Wan, Kwai Chung and Tsing Yi secondary schools found that nearly 15 per cent of the 7,500 students have been harassed by triad members in schools, at places like toilets, playgrounds and even classrooms. Some 25 per cent said they had been harassed outside school in cases of extortion. More than half the respondents said they would report their cases to police; however, over 25 per cent would not as they feared doing so would get them into trouble.