The most serious incident handled by the Sai Kung Police Station last year was a domestic dispute that escalated, Divisional Commander Paul Gordon said, revealing the district is relatively peaceful. Burglaries were the most pervasive problem, but all were cases of thieves tiptoeing in and tiptoeing out, except for one where violence occurred. “The burglary that went wrong.”
The Sai Kung commander said the police always take domestic disputes seriously. “When people are emotionally disturbed, there is high risk of things getting nasty very quickly.”
Paul didn’t want to identify the case in any way, saying only that it was a husband and wife fight with lots of beer involved over love affairs. The situation “escalated”. The police received a number of calls and intervened. “People were pushing and throwing things. There was some bruising, that’s all.”
When the police saw three children they became concerned. The district crime squad was called and the Social Welfare Department. “It had the potential to be serious.” But after investigation it was decided that there was no need to file charges. Paul said the police preferred to calm it down.
In the burglary that went wrong, visiting Australians stumbled on thieves in a flat in a Mang Kung Wo private estate. The husband was woken by noise outside their bedroom and saw two burglars. He confronted them, but they overpowered him and his wife. The burglars grabbed what property they could and scarpered, Paul said. “The man suffered minor scratches and bruises. It was a scary time for them.”
In an interview jointly with his second-in-command Assistant Divisional Commander Janet Chan So-yue, Paul laid out the statistics for last year’s crimes and incidents handled by Sai Kung police. Janet is head of operations, while Paul is in overall command of the station. One hundred and thirty officers are based there, 30 of them with the rural patrol unit.
Reports to the police station in 2014 (previous year in brackets) 15,619 (16,940)
Crime cases 442 (553)
Burglaries 89 (142)
Traffic complaints 3170 (2830)
Search and rescue 157 (114)
Criminal damage 98 (101)
Deception 29 (20)
Serious assault 24 (22)
Indecent assault 3 (3)
Theft 121 (164)
Rape 0 (0)
Drink driving 0 (0)
Paul pointed out the number of cases of burglary without breaking: 26 last year and 42 the previous year. “Largely this is because people don’t lock up,” he said. This is particularly true of newcomers who haven’t yet realised the risks if they don’t take precautions.
The Divisional Commander named certain traffic black spots. Two elderly people have been killed in separate accidents crossing the road at the junction of Po Tung Rd and Man Nin St. There are no traffic lights and none can be installed because they would be too close to another set. The police have worked closely with the Transport Department to ensure walkers crossing the road are not hidden from view by obstructions and illegal parking.
Ho Chung and Po Lo Che are blackspots for burglaries. Ho Chung is a mix of the old and the new with a lot of development and construction workers coming and going. Po Lo Che too is “not good”. Thieves find easy access and escape routes. Paul tells residents to be alert and call if they see any suspicious persons or activities.
The police are also aware of the risk of burglary at luxurious residences in Chuk Kok, Chuk Yeung Rd, Yan Yee Rd and Fung Sau Rd.
They patrol and issue warnings, “but there is a limit to what we can do in a private estate. We do liaise with the security guards.” The police are concerned too about overcrowding and cars clogging the roads on holidays at Yung Shue O, Wong Shek and Hoi Ha.
On a note of good news, there has not been a single reported case of domestic helper abuse in Sai Kung for two years.
Along with the usual messages about locking up and installing security devices, Paul said he wants more ambassadors for the Sai Kung Neighbourhood Watch Scheme. Now 234 are signed up, “but some are more active than others”. He asks more residents to come forward to work in partnership with the police in making Sai Kung a safe place to live. You can get the application enrollment form at firstname.lastname@example.org or at the station report room.