My Take

When wealth dictates scale of police response to crime in Hong Kong

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 14 October, 2015, 12:29am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 14 October, 2015, 12:29am

The Peak is now probably the safest place in town.

After two high-profile burglaries there, the exclusive neighbourhoods have been crawling with police officers in the past two days. Actually, one should be reclassified as robbery. The two masked burglars were intercepted by Chui Wai-kwan, scion of the Fook Lam Moon fortune, on the first floor of his house. The two suspects then proceeded to beat up Chiu, 67, and escaped with HK$20,000 cash and a watch worth HK$100,000. I think that one now qualifies as a robbery.

READ MORE: Peak burglars ‘injure 7th brother’ of family behind upscale Hong Kong restaurant Fook Lam Moon

It followed a raid on the exclusive estate of HSBC Asia-Pacific chief Peter Wong Tung-shun. Police said the burglars took off with eight watches and jewellery worth a total of HK$2.45 million. How much do they pay HSBC bankers?

Ever since, there has been a massive police presence, with dozens of officers in military-style fatigues scouring the hills. A man, 24, from Guizhou province was arrested on Monday for illegal immigration and burglary after he sought treatment at Sha Tin Hospital for arm injuries, according to police. He was being detained overnight for questioning.

Read More: Chinese man arrested on suspicion of burgling HSBC Asia chief of HK$2.45m from Peak Hong Kong home

I called the police public relations bureau yesterday to try to find out how many officers were deployed to solve the cases. Just looking at TV footage, there were a lot of officers. The bureau, alas, declined to discuss manpower issues. "We do not as a rule disclose such numbers," a PR officer said. That's not quite true. During the Occupy protests, police voluntarily disclosed the numbers of officers deployed in different districts to contain the protests.

I guess they would tell you when it suits them. In this case, it may be a tad embarrassing to let the public know the numbers deployed just because two rich guys got robbed.

I don't know about you. I live near Kennedy Town. One time, my neighbour was robbed. A couple of officers showed up, took statements and then left. After midnight, a few more officers did a routine check around the neighbourhood. So I was intrigued when I saw on TV practically an entire army of officers on The Peak.

Since they wouldn't tell me, let me venture a guess - say half the force on Hong Kong Island? Talk about social equality!