Hong Kong has a new chief of traffic police, Crusade Yau Siu-kei, replacing Damon Au Wing-leung, who held the post for less than two years.
But police have refused to state exactly when Yau was appointed, saying they do not comment on “internal personnel changes”.
According to WayBackMachine archives of the police telephone directory, CSP Au was still head of Traffic Branch on 28 August 2022, the last date archived, while Crusade Yau was yesterday listed in the government telephone directory as the Chief Superintendent in charge of Traffic Branch. Police will not confirm the exact date of Yau’s appointment.
Au had replaced long-serving CSP Martin Cadman in 2020, when Cadman retired, and had been tipped for the top job for some years according to sources. Cadman himself had said Au had a unique mix of regional traffic experience and more senior policy-level experience. “He understands how the regions work and how the HQ works and can join the two together,” Cadman told Transit Jam in an interview in 2020.
During his brief tenure, Au led the traffic police to its largest annual haul of parking tickets – 3.3 million, one ticket every 10 seconds – and developed new video systems for officers to use against offences such as double yellow line parking and box junction offences.
But traffic police under Au also took a hard line against pedestrians and people on bikes, with enforcement against pedestrians doubling in 2021 and tickets to people on bicycles rising 68%.
Unlike his predecessor, Crusade Yau appears to have little traffic experience. And while police are refusing to comment on Yau’s appointment or background, the officer has made headlines in the past. He was a Deputy District Commander in Mong Kok tipped for promotion to Chief Superintendent with the Commercial Crime Bureau, until criticism of his handling of the Mong Kok unrest of 2016 led to his transfer to a border command post.
Transit Jam has requested an interview.