LEGISLATIVE Councillors called for stronger Sino-Hongkong links in fighting cross-border crime following a significant drop in violent crime this year. Figures released by the police showed a more than 46 per cent fall in the number of robberies involving firearms with almost 30 per cent fewer offences involving pistol-like objects compared with the first half of last year. A total of 40,610 crimes were reported to the police in the first half of the year, representing a marginal drop of 160 reports, or 0.4 per cent. There were an average of 689 crimes per 100,000 people, which means a drop of 1.6 per cent from the first half of 1992. Although the police yesterday hailed the new figures as ''very encouraging and significant'', legislators and residents groups said the force should not be overjoyed by the success. Member of the Legco security panel, Miriam Lau Kin-yee, urged the public not to jump to any conclusions that security had improved. ''Detailed analysis should be conducted before we come to the conclusion that the security situation in Hongkong has improved. We should be careful not to jump to a conclusion too quickly,'' she warned. She said the Government should continue to devote more resources for combatting serious crime, which could return very easily once controls were loosened. ''We should not feel happy too early,'' she said. Noting slight increases in some areas, Mrs Lau said the police had yet to see improvements in dealing with the crimes of wounding and serious assault as well as burglary. A total of 2,914 woundings and serious assaults were reported in the first six months, compared with 2,667 during the same period last year. ''We should note this with special care. Does that mean that although the number of crimes are on a downward trend, they are getting more serious in nature?'' she said. United Democrats legislator, James To Kun-sun, called for a strengthening of links with the Chinese Government, which have proved to be effective in curbing violent crimes in Hongkong. The police had attributed the success in the fight against crime to the growing cross-border links between Hongkong and China during the past year. Police spokesman Eric Lockyear said measures included the Chinese handing over of fleeing criminals as well as the strengthening of border controls in China to prevent the export of firearms to Hongkong. The increase in the deployment of policemen to patrol the streets also contributed to the drop, he said. Mr To agreed that the co-operation was linked directly to the drop and said it should not be reduced in the future. As for the number of burglaries, which have seen a slight increase of 3.6 per cent to 6,936, Mr To said it was difficult to curb. He suggested the police worked with other government departments in introducing preventative measures such as improving the structure of public housing and the promotion of mutual assistance in neighbourhoods. Tuen Mun District Board member Choy Cheung Yuet-lan cautioned that the crime figures could not reflect the real crime situation, especially when domestic crimes had actually risen. Mrs Choy said the marginal growth in wounding and serious assault cases, at 9.3 per cent, and burglaries, should not be overlooked. Rapes which remained at 51 and indecent assaults which slid by 6.7 per cent to 490 cases, should never be misinterpreted as an improvement of security, she said. ''A numerical trend would be meaningless when there are still 51 rapes and 490 indecent assaults. Just one case would be enough to worry people as long as the criminal is at large,'' Mrs Choy said. ''Residents still worry about going home at nights and many expressed their concerns at investigation into the serial rapist plaguing their neighbourhood earlier this year.'' Mrs Choy also said more complaints had been made by Tuen Mun residents against blackmail by Government-recommended contractors bidding for decoration work in new housing estates. And residents' reluctance to report blackmail to police for fear of revenge would render the crime figures meaningless. Mrs Choy agreed that improved police deployment had helped prevent crimes, but urged policy makers not to hold up estates' security improvement plans and other long-term crime prevention measures.