Latest robbery turns focus on rise in violent crime - RTHK
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Latest robbery turns focus on rise in violent crime

2019-12-24 HKT 08:21
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  • Police say there were 170 cases of robbery in the first 11 months of the year, up 28 percent on the same period last year. File photo: RTHK
    Police say there were 170 cases of robbery in the first 11 months of the year, up 28 percent on the same period last year. File photo: RTHK
Police are hunting for six armed robbers who ransacked a jewellery shop in Yau Ma Tei on Monday, one day after a gang escaped with luxury watches valued at HK$600,000 from a store in Causeway Bay.

The robbery is the latest in a series that has turned the spotlight on a spike in violent crime.

Police say criminals may be exploiting the fact that the protests mean that police are stretched to the limit.

The masked men stormed the shop on Shanghai Street just after midday, smashing display cases with a sledge-hammer and threatening staff with knives before making off with over HK$1 million worth of gold ornaments.

Armed robberies have surged by more than a quarter this year, as police resources have been redeployed to deal with the anti-government protests.

Police told a news briefing that in the first 11 months of the year, there were 170 cases of robbery - that's 28 percent more than in the same period last year, while theft cases had jumped by almost 45 percent.

Senior Superintendent Steve Li from the organised crime and triad bureau said criminals may be taking advantage of insufficient police manpower.

Chief Superintendent Kwok Ka Chuen said the force is concerned about the trend.

He appealed to the public to support the fight against crime.