The Sai Kung police operations chief has changed. About a month ago Senior Inspector Max Yip Chun-man took over from Janet Chan So-yue, who held the same rank.
Janet has been up before a Promotion Board that is assessing whether she should be advanced to Chief Inspector and has been transferred to Railway Division which looks after the MTR. The overall commander of the Sai Kung Police Station is Bryan Yeung Yuk-leung.
Animal lovers will be pleased to learn that the new operations boss says he is one of them. Max adopted a stray dog that wandered into the Kowloon East station. Max was working there, assigned to a plainclothes anti-triad unit. At first the station commander wanted to adopt the dog. He changed his mind after it bit his son. So Max fed it, arranged veterinary treatment and later adopted the dog. That was three years ago. Max called it Hak Mui and they now live together at Wu Kai Sha.
Both Janet and Max said they are well aware of concerns about the safety of Sai Kung’s cattle, estimated to be as many as 600. The police work with Sai Kung Buffalo Watch and other NGOs when necessary to look after the animals. Max said a workshop will soon be held by AFCD and an NGO with Sai Kung police to teach them how best to handle the cattle.
Janet was asked by SAI KUNG BUZZ about her experiences as operations chief for two years. The most serious case was the recent robbery at Fung Sau Road. “I was having dinner in a restaurant with a friend. The food had just arrived when I got the call. We shoved some food into a box and my friend drove me to the station.”
It was a major crime. A woman and her helper had been surprised by three mainlanders and tied up. The culprits ransacked the house then fled. The women untied themselves and phoned the police. Janet, as field commander, called in more than 50 officers from Wong Tai Sin, Emergency Unit, Police Tactical Unit and the Sai Kung station. Local commander Bryan Yeung was on the scene. “It was dark. We had a big area to search. Of course we had no idea where the robbers had gone.” The police sweep found one mainlander near the coast. Another ran up a slope and climbed a tree. Both were arrested. “It was like a scene in a movie,” Janet said. “Hong Kong is a very safe place. You don’t expect to see that kind of thing.” The third robber escaped to the mainland and the police there have been informed and are investigating the case.
Asked about the most rewarding case she has handled in Sai Kung, Janet described a suicide attempt. A man who was distraught and drunk pulled a knife, threatening himself and his dog. Janet arrived with a team of officers, including Emergency Unit men and police trained as negotiators. “It was a cold night. We got there at about 1am and the stand-off lasted for more than three hours, maybe four.” The Emergency Unit men were readied to rush the man if he started hurting himself. “He was threatening only himself. Alternatively the dog. We waited for the right moment to seize the knife. And we finally did it.” Two officers pounced on the guy. Janet described that as a satisfactory incident because no one was hurt.
In the past two years, there have been about 25 suicide attempts in our district. Leaping from high buildings, burning charcoal and overdosing. Two resulted in death, Janet said. “Usually we are called and manage to save them.” Follow-up care is arranged with the Social Welfare Department.
Janet said Sai Kung “is very special. It is a different environment from the urban areas. The atmosphere here is one of warmth. People look after each other. This is good for the police.”
Asked what concerns she has about Sai Kung as the departing operations chief, Janet said the traffic situation. “Many departments are working on it. Improvements are on the way, but it takes time.” Sometimes emergency response units are blocked in the traffic. “We can’t get there as fast as we would like.” But she knows of no deaths resulting from emergency vehicle delays. Motorcycles are used to get through the traffic.
Janet said more householders should install CCTV and alarms. “The crime situation is very low, I would say. But burglaries are still too common.” Security systems like CCTV will deter criminals and if a burglary occurs, the film will help in the investigation.
Max, the new operations boss, said, “Cooperation between residents and officers is the key to tackling offences such as burglaries and tree-cutting.” People should not hesitate to contact the police. “When there is doubt they should call us. There may be an indication that something is going wrong.”
Max and Janet said how you should contact the police depends on the urgency. If the matter is urgent, 999. If it is not so urgent “you may call the rural patrols directly”, Janet said. The number is 6148 0658. Max invites residents with concerns to email him at email@example.com. He noted your email will be seen only during daytime working hours.