FEHD and police officers intensify crackdown on unlicensed street hawking in Sham Shui Po

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13th April 2024 – (Hong Kong) In response to escalating unlicensed hawking activities in Sham Shui Po, the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) alongside the Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF) has ramped up law enforcement operations. This joint initiative aims to address the surge in organized, illegal street trading that has been obstructing streets and impacting environmental hygiene in the district.

Over the recent evenings and nights, Sham Shui Po has seen a marked increase in such activities, particularly around the Pei Ho Street Market. Vendors have been using vehicles as makeshift stalls, leading to considerable public nuisance. In the first quarter of the year alone, the FEHD has logged 156 complaints regarding these unlicensed vendors, who have not only ignored multiple warnings but have also verbally abused FEHD staff.

From 8th to 12th April, targeted raids were conducted at critical locations including Tai Nan Street, the Pei Ho Street Municipal Services Building, and Apliu Street. These operations have resulted in 27 prosecutions for suspected unlicensed hawking and public obstruction, with about 3.2 tonnes of goods seized. Offenders ranged in age from 25 to 59 years. In addition, the HKPF has taken action against vehicles causing obstructions, issuing 36 fixed penalty notices and arresting an individual for intimidation.

Hong Kong’s Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance (Cap. 132) strictly prohibits hawking without a valid license, with penalties for first-time offenders including a fine of up to $5,000 and one month’s imprisonment. Repeat offenders face even harsher penalties, including six months’ imprisonment and a $10,000 fine. Furthermore, the Summary Offences Ordinance (Cap. 228) allows for additional charges if unlicensed hawking activities block public passageways, with potential fines up to $25,000 or three months in prison.