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Custodial population falls 4%

February 03, 2016

Less crowded

Less crowded:  Commissioner of Correctional Services Yau Chi-chiu (third right) meets the media to deliver his year-end review.

The Correctional Services Department has reported a fall in the number of people in custody, amid a decline in the crime rate.


Delivering the department’s year-end review today, Commissioner of Correctional Services Yau Chi-chiu said the average daily penal population at correctional facilities was 8,413 last year, down 4% on 2014. The average occupancy rate was 76%.


However, 147 high-security-risk people were admitted to correctional facilities, a 39% rise.


Although no escape has occurred in eight consecutive years there has been an increase in acts of indiscipline, he said, noting that last year saw 3,671 disciplinary charges, an increase of 79 on the year before.


"Although our correctional work has been effective and the custodial environment is safe and in good order, the associated security risks have increased."


To tackle emergencies within and outside institutions and to step up tasks such as high-risk escort duties, Mr Yau said the department will form regular response teams to provide more effective, prompt and tactical support.


More low-radiation X-ray body scanners will be installed at reception facilities this year to prevent drug smuggling.


On rehabilitation work, Mr Yau said the department has been working closely with more than 80 non-government organisations to implement diversified programmes and initiatives.


On community education, more than 30,000 people attended the department's activities last year promoting law-abiding and drug-free lifestyles to students and young people.

Anti-drug campaign