SHAMSHUIPO HAWKERS’ CHARTER TEAM
Hong Kong Police Force

Exemplary Services@Gov
2017
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NEW CRIME PREVENTION NETWORK MOBILISING THE COMMUNITY

Shamshuipo is a densely-populated older district with many open-air hawker bazaars selling a variety of goods. It has long been a shopping hot spot for locals and tourists. Hawker stalls are usually operated by individuals with relatively simple security facilities and located along crowded streets. That makes them vulnerable to criminals. As a result, Shamshuipo Police District issued the “Shamshuipo Hawkers’ Charter” in July 2014 which promotes “collaboration and mutual support”. It encourages stall owners to work together in order to combat crime and protect their and the public’s lives and property. The programme is in line with the Commissioner’s Operational Priorities to prevent quick cash crime including pickpocketing and robberies.

MAKE SURE OF HAWKER’S NETWORK TO COMBAT CRIME

Upon joining the Charter, the hawkers are encouraged to collaborate with the police to develop a broad intelligence network in the local community. Through a 24-hour designated police hotline and daily contacts with the hawkers through regular patrols, the police collect and analyse relevant information and conduct anti-crime operations. They also provide suggestions to the hawkers for better security in order to prevent crimes.

When the programme was first implemented, the hawkers were not actively involved due to relatively limited connections with the police. As such, the police works closely with the Hawkers’ Association to promote the programme in a number of ways, including Hawkers’ Association meetings and promotional activities, as well as through the Shamshuipo Police newsletter, “Police Magazine”, and a dedicated YouTube channel. The police also shares relevant cases with the members of the Association and shows appreciation to hawkers who report crimes. With this mutual trust, more hawkers are willing to join the programme.

BENEFITS TO STREET MANAGEMENT

The Charter resulted in closer relationship between the police and the hawkers. It has also become a useful platform to solve community issues, facilitate better street management of local areas and improve the community environment. Through frequent contacts and regular meetings with the Hawkers’ Association, the police can strike a balance between the interests of the hawkers, residents and tourists and also help resolve their conflicts. When receiving any complaints about environmental hygiene, noise or illegal shop front extensions, the police will work with the relevant departments including the Immigration Department, the Labour Department and the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department.

The launch of this programme brought multiple benefits to the local community. It clearly enhanced the effectiveness of preventing and fighting crime, and strengthened awareness among citizens and hawkers. It also improved the overall community environment. As of July 2017, the number of participants has tripled to 619 from the initial 172. As a result of the Charter, hawkers provided intelligence on 114 occasions, and helped break 70 cases. Because of this success, the programme has now been extended to other Kowloon West Districts, including Yaumatei, Tsimshatsui and Mongkok Police District.

Task Force members of the Shamshuipo Division communicate with the hawkers while on patrol.
Task Force members of the Shamshuipo Division communicate with the hawkers while on patrol.
The police keeps close contact with the hawkers by holding meetings with the Hawkers’ Association.
The police keeps close contact with the hawkers by holding meetings with the Hawkers’ Association.
Shamshuipo Police District conducts joint operations with other departments to combat crime in response to intelligence provided by hawkers.
Shamshuipo Police District conducts joint operations with other departments to combat crime in response to intelligence provided by hawkers.