Law enforcement agencies from a number of countries have been keeping track on the activities of an unusual crime-fighting organisation that is based in Hongkong.
GV: Hong Kong traffic at night and illuminated night club signs.
SV: people walking through streets at night (3 shots)
CU ZOOM OUT FROM: TV screen to children watching Junior Police Call programme (2 shots)
SV: children watching policewoman speaking on TV.
CU: policewoman talking in market.
SV: market stall selling jeans with "thief" walking across road. He steals pair of jeans and runs away. Police Junior on bicycle gives chase and reports theft to policeman. (4 shots)
CU: policewoman talking to camera with shots of children watching Police Call TV programme (3 shots)
GV: INTERIOR: women sorting through Junior membership applications and placing badges into envelopes (3 shots)
CU: boy opening envelope and removing Junior Police Call badge.
SV: JPC members leaving police station and distributing crime prevention pamphlets to shop owners and members of public. (3 shots)
CU ZOOM OUT: from suspected stolen car to two JPC's taking note of number plate and calling police. (4 shots)
SV: suspicious group handling stolen goods on balcony of block of flats. (2 shots)
GV ZOOM: two JPC members talking to gang who wave them away
SV: gang running as police arrive and arrest them. (2 shots)
GV: JPC members training in self-defence outside headquarters. (3 shots)
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Background: Law enforcement agencies from a number of countries have been keeping track on the activities of an unusual crime-fighting organisation that is based in Hongkong. It is known as Junior Police Call, and is a volunteer army of youngsters who are busy assisting the law authorities in tracking down criminals and lost property. It's success and popularity has attracted the attention of forces from 16 other countries, including the United States, Britain, Australia, and Canada, who are all keen to follow suit.
SYNOPSIS: Hong Kong's bright lights district at night. Part of a bustling city that is one of the most crowded in the world. And this makes tracking criminals all the more difficult for police, under pressure of work every day of the year. Some of this pressure is now being eased by youngsters. They are aged between 9 and 17 and there are more than 200,000 who are members of the polices sponsored Junior Police Call. JPC started life three years ago as a television programme.
The weekly TV programme is still the most important element of the JPC. It is broadcast in Chinese. Members are asked to use their eyes and ears in the battle against crime, but they are warned never to take any action which might expose them to danger.
The programmes rely on reconstructed crimes, and appeals with a suggestion of what to do and what to report, should a real situation be seen by JPC members. In this reconstruction, a thief operating near a market stall is spotted by a JPC member stealing a pair of jeans. The Police Junior member gives chase on his bicycle and then reports the incident to a patrolling policeman.
Here the policewoman introducing the programme says the thief was caught with the JPC members help. In future, she says, if you see anything happening, remember, tell the police.
JPC is run from here, inside the headquarters of the Royal Hong Kong police, as part of its Public Relations Bureau. The office is run full time by police officers who have to deal with membership applications that come in at the rate of nearly one thousand a week. Membership cards are issued to successful applicants.
JPC members devote much of their time helping to inform the public about crime prevention. Here they hand out leaflets to weekend shoppers and storekeepers advising them of the importance of keeping house and valuables locked.
One of the biggest contributions made by the JPC is its success in tracking down missing vehicles. In this reconstruction, two girls make spot checks in a car park, in response to a JPC broadcast. After finding a missing car, they inform police. More than 80 missing vehicles have been found in they way.
Another reconstruction. Here children notice suspicious activities by a group of older youths. Their quick response in reporting the situation results in police catching the group as they divide up the proceeds from a smash and grab raid. JPC members have made 700 such reports in three years and the results....more than 70 suspects arrested.
But JPC members don't only chase criminals, they also enjoy themselves at their clubs, like this one, in their spare time. Many parents are grateful that clubs like this provide organised activities for their children, in a city that is desperately short of such facilities.