Several high-profile crimes recently reported in Macau’s Cotai district are not indicators that Macau’s public security situation has worsened, but the authorities are paying attention. So said the commissioner-general of the city’s Unitary Police Service, Ma Io Kun, during a televised discussion programme aired by local public broadcaster TDM on Sunday.
The Judiciary Police had said last week that – with the help of the authorities in mainland China – arrests had been made in connection with the fatal stabbing near the Four Seasons Macao, and the alleged pepper spray-attack and gaming chip snatch inside a high-limit casino area of the Plaza Macao.
“Although these cases that happened inside a casino – or in its surroundings – are individual cases, it does ring an alarm to us,” Mr Ma told the discussion panel.
“We will continue to assess if [the incidence of] these types of crimes worsen, and bring on a negative impact to the security of the community here,” the official added.
Sit Chong Meng, the director of the city’s Judiciary Police – who was also a guest on the Sunday programme – referred to the arrests of suspects in those two cases as a “speedy crackdown”, which showed the local police had the ability to deal with “emergency cases”.
Mr Ma stressed that serious crimes, such as kidnapping, murder and serious assault, had been extremely low in number over a period of years. Overall, the police had recorded approximately 14,000 crime cases of all types per year from the period of 2016 to 2018, a trend that appeared “stable”, Mr Ma remarked.
Separately, Chinese-language newspaper Macao Daily News reported the Unitary Police chief as having said during Sunday’s broadcast that the various police services in Macau had an effective communication channel with the city’s casino operators. But he also remarked that the security effort at the entrances of the local casinos needed to be strengthened, as did the internal security effort of the operators.
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”I do not believe that this event [the collapse of a under-construction building in Sihanoukville] will slow down the issuance of [gaming] licences. Market forces will probably dictate the process as developers evaluate projected future demand for gaming in the region”
Senior partner at business consultancy Global Market Advisors