Police are yet again delaying official 2019 crime figures, until mid-April, statistics that will reveal a drastic cut in traffic enforcement for the second half of the year.
Parking tickets were down 56% for the second half of the year, according to estimates from the Secretary for Transport and Housing, Mr Frank Chan Fan. Yet police are unable to officially confirm these figures, nor elaborate on other data such as other traffic offence enforcement and road traffic injuries.
Traditionally the Police Commissioner summarises the annual data in person at a meeting of the Security Panel, allowing Legislative Councillors to question the figures. But with meetings delayed on coronavirus fears and the government’s “social distancing” protocol, the planned 4 February data release and press conference was first delayed until 3 March, and won’t now happen until 16 April.
Police have not responded to questions on why the data cannot be released online; nor why opportunities to release the data in person have been cancelled on “social distancing” concerns, while the Police Commissioner Chris Tang was photographed singing and dancing on stage at a celebrity banquet in mid February.
Transport Sec Frank Chan Fan says traffic enforcement has been stepped up as protest tension eased towards the end of 2019, and police have re-deployed their manpower to strengthen traffic enforcement operations, with a rebound in enforcement in December 2019.
*Update 2/3/2020 11:40pm on recent data release and Commissioner comments*
Police full-year statistics were released today ahead of the Security Panel briefing. Regarding the recent banquet, Police Commissioner Chris Tang admitted to press he had “not been sensitive enough when it came to social distancing”, and accused his critics of “turning his sense of humour into a scandal”.