Law, life and death on the streets of Hong Kong. An English police inspector tells it as it was. By Chris Emmett
Hong Kong in 1970 was the fastest expanding city in the world, a city that lived on three levels – the expatriates, nearly always British who lived in almost complete isolation; the vast mass of Chinese residents struggling to get by and improve their lot; and finally the criminal and corrupt underside which not only fought among itself but also affected the life of everyone else in the Crown Colony through fear and corruption. Fighting to hold this in check – and by and large succeeding – were the Hong Kong police force. At the officer level, many were British. Into this heady and dangerous mix steps a young Merseyside policeman, Chris Emmett.
His account of those times brings vividly to life the crime, prostitution, drugs, triad street gangs and corruption that was an important part of the fabric of Hong Kong of those days.
A review of Hong Kong Policeman in the April issue of the OSPA Journal, published by the UK’s Overseas Service Pensioners’ Association:
“This is an exciting book but it is not an academic or historical memoir of the Royal Hong Kong Police. It is a dramatic and colorful personal account of the author’s service as an inspector in the force during the 1970s in a number of very different, challenging and interesting postings and is told with humor and a degree of lightheartedness. Reading this book makes one feel that one has just stepped off the plane again at the old Kai Tak airport into the very heart of the Orient. It conjures up that feeling of Hong Kong as it was before it became gentrified and a cosmopolitan international city…”