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Hong-Kong-style community policing: a study of the Yau Ma Tei fruit market


Crime, Law and Social Change

Published online on


This paper explores the policing of a traditional wholesale fruit market located in a densely populated neighborhood of urban Hong Kong. Based on ethnographic and historical research, we outline the political arrangements that govern the discretionary arrangements of police power at the market. A historically developed system maintains an informal status quo against various pressures to change. We identify crucial features in the contemporary policing system that emerge from a fusion between the democratic ethos of community policing ideals and non-democratic aspects of local administration in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. These features of this historically developed mode of order-maintenance, we suggest, might be seen as broadly characteristic of a “Hong Kong style” community policing.