Police in Hong Kong and Shanghai will in future liaise directly rather than having to go through the Public Security Ministry in Beijing, in a boost to the fight against cross-border crime. Hong Kong Police Commissioner Tsang Yam-pui, who yesterday met the director of Shanghai's Public Security Bureau, Wu Zhiming, said the two forces would open a direct communication channel. Previously, Hong Kong police have had direct links only with their Guangdong counterparts. Under the new arrangement, the Hong Kong and Shanghai police chiefs and their forces' top detectives will meet once a year. They will communicate by telephone, e-mail and fax whenever necessary. Mr Wu said he saw plenty of room for co-operation between the two forces as both Hong Kong and Shanghai were large and busy financial centres. Mr Tsang said the number of criminal cases needing mutual co-operation between the two forces was rising. He said he hoped the new mechanism would result in closer cross-border co-operation in the fight against economic crimes and organised crime. 'Organised crime is an area of mutual concern, for example, whether any triad groups are infiltrating commerce in Shanghai,' Mr Tsang said. He said yesterday's meeting had not touched on the investigation into Shanghai tycoon Chau Ching-ngai. Chau is under investigation in Shanghai for alleged loan improprieties. Mr Tsang will leave Shanghai today for Panyu to meet his Guangdong counterparts. He will conclude his visit to the mainland in Shenzhen tomorrow.