Rise in emotional-type offences reflects the state of society, says police chief The number of so-called 'grievance-type' crimes, including assaults on police officers, has surged about 40 per cent this year, the police commissioner said yesterday. Dick Lee Ming-kwai said the figures reflected the mood of society amid the economic downturn. The force first reported the phenomenon in July, noting that grievances and emotional problems had led to a rise of between 10 and 65 per cent rise in seven types of crime in the first half of the year. The types of crime were: assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest, serious assault, criminal intimidation, arson, criminal damage and disorder in public places. Yesterday the police said there were 506 assaults on officers in the first 10 months of this year, which is already 27 per cent more than the 399 cases in the whole of last year. There were 431 cases in 2001. The latest figures for the six other grievance-related crimes were not available yesterday. Mr Lee said he would report on the annual crime situation next month. Highlighting the situation, a policeman was assaulted while fining a taxi driver in Choi Hung early yesterday. The constable, 39, intercepted the taxi in Lung Cheung Road outside Choi Hung Estate after he saw the driver picking up a passenger in a restricted area just after midnight. He issued a verbal warning as the driver, 52, tried to stop him issuing a fixed-penalty ticket. The driver ignored the warning and scuffled with the officer but was eventually subdued. The officer was treated for hand injuries at Queen Elizabeth Hospital and the driver was being questioned. Mr Lee said they were still monitoring the problem of police officers suffering verbal abuse while on duty. Before resorting to legislation, the force would determine if the problem was due to miscommunication and study if there was a need to enhance public education. The force was also studying the possibility of reassigning some non-police duties now undertaken by the force as part of cost-cutting measures. Mr Lee cited the example of officers attending the scene of domestic disputes, saying such cases were handled by non-governmental organisations in some countries. Deputy Commissioner Tang King-shing also revealed plans for more mergers of police stations. He said Shamshuipo and Shekkipmei stations would merge in April and the force was also considering merging Tsuen Wan and Lei Muk Shue stations. Shekkipmei police station will be closed but a report room will be kept open inside the police block.