In an effort to clean up city streets, Hong Kong has cracked down on littering and spitting, with “litter police” now handing out $77 fines on the spot. Not surprisingly, the fines are being met with resistance, so much so that the enforcers are being given martial arts training to defend themselves against attackers.
The depressed economy and high unemployment has caused a surge in petty crime, mostly committed by juveniles, in the first half of the year. Shoplifting and robberies are up, as are suicides among adults seeking to escape debt or despair. The increase in crime has generally not affected tourists.