Police, parents and schools should be more concerned about triad activity among primary and secondary students, a political party has said. The call from the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong came after a survey found about one in five students said their schoolmates had claimed to be triad members and almost a quarter said they or friends had been asked to join a gang. Loretta Lo Yee-hang, a deputy security spokesman for the party, said even though there were not a lot of children being bothered by gangs, there should be concern if there was just a single case. 'Those who claim to be a triad member may just be doing it for fun,' she said, adding that this was a criminal breach of the law. For the poll, 524 students from Primary Four to Form Seven and 164 parents were randomly surveyed by telephone from May 26 to 31. Of the student respondents, 21.8 per cent said schoolmates had claimed to be triad members, while 24.6 per cent said attempts had been made to recruit them or their friends into triad societies. District by district, the prevalence of such responses was highest in the New Territories West, recognised as a breeding ground for social problems, and lowest in Kowloon East. Just under a third of respondents said they tended to seek help from the police if they had been harassed by triads and a similar number said they would approach teachers or principals, but just 12.8 per cent said they would go to their parents. Eric Tam Wing-fun, also a deputy spokesman for security, said the results were alarming. He said parents' long working hours and a lack of communication with children caused high figures to be recorded in New Territories West. 'Parents should show more care towards their children and know more about their lives by simply giving them a call,' Mr Tam said. He claimed that schools tended to play down such issues to protect their image and attempted to solve the problems themselves without involving the police. He cited the case of a Form Four student who reported to the school that he was being harassed by triad members. The school sent two teachers to drive the gangs away. Mr Tam said the police could do nothing until a case was reported. In 1997, police launched a scheme whereby each school had an officer assigned to it to specifically deal with gang issues. But now this is limited to high crime areas. 'This scheme allows [victims] to communicate with the police in a more friendly way,' said Mr Tam. 'The police should put more resources into this rather than cutting it back. Triads are everywhere and affect students no matter which area they are from.' He also pointed out that schools, parents and the police should work together to create a safe environment for students.