Government makes proposals for managing Macao’s customary waters

Secretary for Security, Mr Wong Sio Chak, meets the press.

The Government has formulated proposals for the management of Macao’s customary waters, following the clarification of Macao’s management role in relation to this topic. The proposals include the training of professionals in that discipline, the acquisition of necessary equipment and the development of regulations. The Secretary for Security, Mr Wong Sio Chak, gave the information to reporters following a graduation ceremony of the 21st Training Programme for Public Security Forces’ Police Cadets held this morning. Mr Wong disclosed the Government had started rounds of negotiation with the relevant mainland authorities regarding the necessary changes to the cross-boundary cooperation model. More details would be announced in due course, he added. He also noted illegal immigration was a complicated issue and was not going to be solved easily, despite the clarification of the Government’s management role in relation to Macao’s customary waters. The Secretary pledged the police would not only continue monitoring the unlawful activity of unauthorised immigration, but would also actively improve police officers’ operational efficiency and upgrade their equipment, in an effort rapidly to detect and tackle this type of crimes. The Government is considering initiating a revision of relevant law regulating unlawful entry to Macao, Mr Wong said. The revision might include the increase of detention period to 90 days from the current 60 days. In addition, the Secretary announced the frequency of the training programme for Police Cadets would be increased. Such programmes would in future occur every six months instead of the current eight months. The aim is to ease the Government’s manpower shortage, while also maintaining police performance standards. In line with the Government’s policy pledge to streamline public administration, the Government would make more efforts to boost the capabilities and equipment of the security forces, so as to achieve the greatest results with the minimum necessary resources, he said. Mr Wong also said he was concerned with a growing trend of drug smuggling involving Hong Kong teenagers. This issue was raised during the Supervisory-Level Working Meeting of the Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao Crime Investigation Units, held in June. The meeting led to an increase in detection rates and would lead to more cooperation in the future, he said.

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