Hong Kong had seen a 10 per cent drop in the number of crimes in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same period last year, according to security chief John Lee.

The city saw 14,779 cases in the first three months and the detection rate rose by 3.4 per cent to 34 per cent.

A Hong Kong frontline protester. File photo: Studio Incendo.

“The drop in the numbers for the first quarter only shows that we might be moving from the worst situation brought by ‘black violence’,” Lee said, referring to the anti-extradition bill protests and widespread unrest in 2019.

Lee added that 10,250 people have been arrested since June 2019 in protest-related cases, and 2,500 of them had been prosecuted. Legal proceedings against 1,500 of them had been completed and 80 per cent of the people involved had had to face legal consequences including jail time.

The security chief said 107 arrests under the national security law have been made since the legislation was imposed by Beijing in June last year, and 57 of them had been prosecuted so far.

The Beijing-drafted legislation criminalises subversion, secession, collusion with foreign forces and terrorist acts, which were broadly defined to include disruption to public transport and other infrastructure.

Candice Chau

Candice is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press. She previously worked as a researcher at a local think tank. She has a BSocSc in Politics and International Relations from the University of Manchester and a MSc in International Political Economy from London School of Economics.