Chief Inspector Marina Yin, from the Sau Mau Ping District Police Office, talked to Young Post, assuring readers that triads “can’t hurt you” and that the police want to help.
This is comes in the wake of the arrest of 21 people aged between 14 and 56 by Sau Mau Ping police in an anti-triad operation last month.
The operation, code-named “Flydart”, was launched after the police uncovered information suggesting triads were recruiting teenagers by intimidating them in public spaces around the Sau Mau Ping district.
“They might come up to you on soccer fields or in playgrounds, and they start intimidating you,” she said. They offer teenagers protection from other bullies if they join triads.
Intimidation works particularly well with younger recruits, as they are frightened and won’t know how to refuse. But this invitation is just the start.
Yin warned that teens taking part in gang activities could commit more serious offences. Joining triads might lead to“something like delivering drugs from one person to another”, she said.
Recruits may be asked to take part in street fights for the gang, or even something as serious as mugging pedestrians.
When asked how to avoid this situation, the inspector stressed that students should turn to adults for help.“The first thing they should do is leave the scene,” she advises. “After they get away from the situation, they should tell their parents, their teachers, their principals about this.”
Yin emphasises that even if triad members have warned victims not to tell anyone, they would not act on it because they would never know if the victim had spoken up.
Meanwhile, police have reached out to teachers and principals in the area, who say they are all willing to help students who feel threatened by triads.