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Crime in Hong Kong

Elderly Hong Kong man reports needle on KMB bus in fourth case this week

Passenger found sharp object stuck in right rear trouser pocket after taking Route 17 bus from Kowloon Bay to Kwun Tong

PUBLISHED : Friday, 29 June, 2018, 1:23pm
UPDATED : Friday, 29 June, 2018, 11:05pm

Hong Kong police are investigating another possible case of a needle being planted on board a bus on Friday, following three reports of the sharp objects being found sticking out of seats on separate vehicles earlier this week.

An elderly male passenger found that a needle had pierced the right rear pocket of his trousers after he got off a KMB double-decker on Kwun Tong Road, Kwun Tong, at about 6.20am on Friday.

He had boarded the Route 17 bus in Kowloon Bay and had sat on the lower deck.

A KMB spokesman said the passenger, 67, was unhurt and had taken the 4cm needle to the nearby bus terminal in Yue Man Square and reported it to staff, who immediately called police.

Needles sticking out of Hong Kong bus seats injure two passengers

A police spokeswoman said the force had received a reportat 6.48am and was treating the case as a request for police investigation.

On Wednesday and Thursday, needles were found on the upper decks of three KMB buses. Two female passengers, aged 27 and 28, were injured and needed hospital treatment.

Police are investigating, but no arrests have been made.

A spokesman for the city’s biggest bus company said it had checked more than 3,900 buses after the earlier reports. No suspicious objects were found.

KMB deputy operations director Patrick Pang Shu-hung said on Thursday that frontline staff had been reminded to carefully inspect buses before they were put into service. He urged passengers to be cautious and report anything suspicious found on a bus to police and KMB staff.

Two other transport companies, Citybus and New World First Bus, said there had been no reports of needles on board their vehicles.

Given the similarity of the three incidents, a criminologist believed it was likely one person was responsible for all the cases.

“It could be the work of the same perpetrator who hated KMB very much and did such an act to retaliate,” Dennis Wong Sing-wing, a professor of criminology at City University, said.

He said it was possible the culprit disliked the company because he or she was the family member or friend of the victim of a traffic accident or the perpetrator was angry about the driving behaviour of a bus driver.

Wong believed the acts would continue until the bus company’s reputation was badly hit and members of the public feared using KMB vehicles.

He said the crime was difficult to detect by surveillance cameras as placing a needle into a seat was quick and easy, and the culprit would likely have to be caught in the act.

To prevent further instances of the crime, Wong said the help of bus passengers was vital.