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Rapes soar 60pc in first quarter

Kelly Ip

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

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The security chief is asking women not to drink too much after revealing a reported 35 cases in the first quarter of the year.

Secretary for Security Lai Tung- kwok said this represents a shocking 60percent increase in the number of rapes over the same period last year.

Speaking after a Fight Crime Committee meeting, Lai said indecent assaults also soared in the first quarter to 367 cases, representing an 18percent rise from a year earlier.

"All of these (rape) cases happened between those who know each other. They are either friends, close friends or they just met a few hours ago," Lai said.

"Some of these cases also involved the victims being raped after drinking quite a lot of alcohol. So I would ask that young ladies not drink too much."

Baptist University associate professor of social work Shirley Hung Suet- lin believes the reported number is only the tip of the iceberg.

"This only shows the number of cases in which the victims have gone to the police," Hung said yesterday.

"Many girls are afraid to speak out and their cases are hidden."

However, it is encouraging that more victims are prepared to go to the police.

Hung said more girls are sexually assaulted after being lured to hotels, thinking they have been invited to pose as models for photographers.

Lai said the number of murder cases doubled to 10 in the first quarter.

Juvenile delinquencies in the 10 to 15 age group dropped 20percent, while in the 16 to 20 age group there was a drop of 12percent.

But Lai said drug offenses continue to be a cause for concern. Police detained 143 youngsters for such offenses, and 123 were aged 16 to 20.

There were 522 serious drug offenses, and 465 involving psychotropic drugs.

A total of 11 kilograms of cannabis and 62kg of cocaine were seized, 4.5 times and three times more than the same period last year, respectively.

"The government will continue its zero-tolerance attitude on drug-related crime," Lai said.

"Police will cooperate with international agencies and strengthen cross- departmental intelligence in stopping drugs from entering Hong Kong."

Half of those arrested for triad-related crimes and robbery were youngsters.

Lai said police will be vigilant and maintain close contacts with schools and other youth organizations in order to fight crime.


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