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Police today called on citizens not to block officers during dispersal operations. Police Public Relations Branch Senior Superintendent Kong Wing-cheung made the appeal at a press conference where he responded to media questions about an officer allegedly pushing a woman to the ground during an operation yesterday. “Because of the violent incident at the nearby procession earlier, at that time Police were conducting a dispersal operation at the MTR Tsim Sha Tsui East Station - one of the exits - during which we encountered two or three people who were trying to obstruct our way or to block our way of dispersal. “At that time, our officer was holding a baton in front of his chest, and our officer walked towards the lady with intent to block her way and to minimise her obstruction of our ongoing dispersal operation. “As you can see from the video, suddenly the woman knelt down and our officer at that time still held his baton in front of his chest. They had body contact before she fell to the ground. This was an unintended result which we did not want to see.” He added that the woman has the right to launch a complaint with Police. Mr Kong also urged the public not to block officers conducting dispersal operations. He pointed put that during police operations in the past few months, they had encountered people who claimed to be safeguarding others at the scene or persuading officers to refrain from using force. “However, as a matter of fact, they were obstructing the dispersal operation of Police. And sometimes they even did it in groups, joining hands to form a line to block our way. “May I take this opportunity to appeal for the co-operation of everybody during this kind of dispersal operation. If anyone stands in front of us trying to block our way during our dispersal operation, we have to give them a warning to leave and if they ignore our warning, we may take necessary action to push them away.” He reiterated that Police do not want anyone to get hurt during their operations.
Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung today said the Education Bureau will work with the management of universities to maintain the safety of university campuses. Speaking to the media after attending a radio programme this morning, Mr Yeung said that whether or not access to universities should be limited depends on individual campuses. “Some of them are very big and it may not be really feasible to have a very strict control over access. “But I think the management, also, together with our support, will consider all possibilities. The idea is to maintain the safety of the campus for everyone of the university, including the students, as well as the teaching staff.” Regarding the temporary pulling out of several university funding requests from the Legislative Council Finance Committee’s agenda, such as a library extension project for the Polytechnic University, Mr Yeung said the Government is looking to resubmit these proposals to LegCo within this legislative session. “We need more time to work with the management of Polytechnic University to firm up the timetable and also to reconfirm the design of the whole extension before we go to the Public Works Subcommittee again. “For the other items which are led by Food & Health Bureau, I think it’s also their intention to resubmit the items when they have a chance to further discuss with some LegCo members to further explain the projects to the members.”
A Police search operation at Polytechnic University (PolyU) was completed, the cordon removed and the campus handed back to the university’s management today.After a two-day operation, Police said all dangerous goods were removed and the crime scenes were processed. Police investigators have left the campus and removed the cordon around it. Officers seized a total of 3,989 petrol bombs, 1,339 explosives, 601 bottles of corrosive liquids and 573 weapons. Briefing reporters this morning, Police Assistant Commissioner (Operations) Chow Yat-ming said on the second day of the operation, Police seized 280 petrol bombs, 318 canisters of cassette gas, 28 bottles of chemicals and various offensive weapons. “Police are thankful to resolve the crisis in a peaceful manner. In fact we have all along been adopting the two basic principles throughout, namely a peaceful method and a flexible approach. “Police would like to reiterate that we will not tolerate any kind of violence resorted to or illegal activities. We will stringently follow up on the investigation in a professional and impartial manner.” The Fire Services Department operation at the PolyU campus was also completed. Fire Services Department Deputy Chief Fire Officer (Licensing & Certification) Wong Chun-yip told reporters the department’s special team inspected the remaining part of the PolyU campus this morning. “We also inspected the basement carpark. We found a small quantity of dangerous chemicals at the scene which have been handed over to Police for their handling.” The ventilation in the basement carpark has improved, Mr Wong added.
Police today said it is alarming that dangerous items and explosives have fallen into the hands of youngsters.Police Public Relations Branch Chief Superintendent Kwok Ka-chuen made the remarks at a press conference following the arrest of two secondary school students who brought a highly explosive substance to school on November 27. The pair had brought triacetone triperoxide (TATP) to their school in Ma On Shan, which was safely removed by Police. “One of the arrested students even had an empty cartridge in his possession. He was further arrested for possession of arms and ammunition without a licence. This case is really alarming for Hong Kong. “It shows dangerous items and explosives have fallen into the hands of young students.” Mr Kwok warned that TATP may look like an innocuous white powder but is very destructive and unstable. “Please do not underestimate the danger of possessing this explosive. Even if a small amount of TATP explodes in a busy district, it can cause a disaster.” He also noted that eight teenagers were arrested on the same day for damaging four shops in Ma On Shan Plaza. One of them, who was also arrested for possession of offensive weapons is as young as 12, Mr Kwok added.
A safety team formed by Police entered the Polytechnic University this morning to clear dangerous items, record damage and gather evidence. Police Assistant Commissioner Chow Yat-ming said the team was assembled to ensure the welfare of people who remain on campus. “Police have formed a safety team comprising officers from various government departments such as the Fire Services Department, ambulance services and Social Welfare Department. “And from the Police Force, we have officers from the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Bureau, Force Media Liaison Cadre, crime investigation teams, as well as the Police Negotiation Cadre. Today we also have some clinical psychologists joining us.” Mr Chow explained that the safety team would adhere to two objectives during today’s mission. “The first objective is the handling of all the dangerous items, such as petrol bombs and corrosives, which I’m sure that you will agree pose a serious threat to public safety. “Second is gathering of evidence in relation to the crime scene, namely the damages caused to the campus.” Mr Chow stressed that Police have been adopting peaceful means and a flexible approach to solve the Polytechnic University situation. “Our ultimate goal is to restore the safety of the school and also to reopen the campus as soon as possible." Police are duty-bound to handle all dangerous items and finish the evidence gathering at the scene before handing over the campus to the university, Mr Chow added.
The new Hong Kong Smart Identity Card and the Next Generation Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Electronic Passport (e-Passport) have won Regional Identity Document of the Year 2019 of the High Security Printing Asia awards for the Best New ID card and the Best New e-Passport. The awards promote the best in security printing, system infrastructure and implementation of a government passport, identity or other security card scheme. The Immigration Department was commended for its excellence and distinguished achievement in developing the new smart ID card and the new e-Passport. The department introduced the new smart ID card last November and the e-Passport this May. The two identity documents are produced under strict controls with state-of-the-art security features and sophisticated designs incorporated to safeguard personal data privacy and better deter forgeries, providing the public and international communities with greater confidence. The awards were presented during a ceremony on November 26 in Yokohama, Japan. The department said it will continue to strive for excellence and make use of technological advancements to issue higher quality personal documentation and deliver better public services to Hong Kong residents.
The Fire Services Department today joined the Police safety team to enter Polytechnic University and found a large quantity of dangerous chemicals inside the campus. Addressing the media tonight, Fire Services Department Deputy Chief Fire Officer (Licensing & Certification) Wong Chun-yip said a team comprising 53 fire services personnel was deployed to the campus to conduct a fire safety assessment on the dangerous chemicals. As at 9pm, the officers had inspected the podium, laboratories, dangerous goods stores and most of the campus buildings. “During our inspections, we found a large quantity of dangerous chemicals, including a large amount of petrol bombs, liquefied petroleum gas cartridges, over 550 litres of flammable liquids, 20 litres of corrosive fluids and 80 litres of toxic substances on the campus. “Apart from these, we have found that the laboratory of the university had been broken into and vandalised.” As regards the dangerous goods stores, a total of 15 fire extinguishers placed outside the stores were missing, but all 27 dangerous goods stores remained locked and nothing was damaged. The officers also found that some of the fire service installations in other parts of the campus were damaged. Immediate action was taken to minimise the fire safety risk, Mr Wong said. “To safeguard public safety, we have taken various measures to minimise the fire safety risk on the campus, such as covering exposed dangerous goods to avoid volatilisation, cordoning off areas where dangerous goods were found and removing bricks that are likely to fall down from boundary walls. “Our assessment suggests that there is no imminent danger on the campus.” Mr Wong also said they detected a petrol smell emanating from a basement carpark this afternoon. “After investigation, the smell was found (to be) coming from damaged fuel tanks of private cars. The hazmat team stopped the leakage and set up a blower for improving ventilation.” He added today’s inspection mainly focused on high risk areas, and that they will continue inspecting other areas tomorrow.
Police are confident the safety team formed to clear dangerous items, record damage and gather evidence at Polytechnic University (PolyU) can finish its task tomorrow and return the campus in a safe state to the university management. Police Assistant Commissioner (Operations) Chow Yat-ming made the remarks tonight when updating the media on the safety team’s work that began this morning, noting that the university suffered extensive damage and petrol bombs were found in various places that posed a hazard on campus. “Almost each floor of every building in the complex had suffered from a different extent of damage. “You can see petrol bombs all over the corners and worse still, there were some petrol bombs, gas cylinders and corrosives exposed under the sunlight for a long time, which posed a serious threat to all personnel at the scene.” Mr Chow added that the safety team has done a thorough job in removing the dangerous items to eliminate any potential danger from the campus. “We split up into different teams and systematically entered different buildings inside the campus to remove and handle all the dangerous items and offensive weapons as well as to gather evidence at the scene. “In parallel, the officers from the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Bureau also conducted a thorough search of the campus to ensure no immediate danger at the scene.” Rounding up the dangerous substances and weapons seized at PolyU, Police Organized Crime & Triad Bureau Senior Superintendent Li Kwai-wah said 558 bottles of chemicals that can be used to make explosives were found. Also seized were 3,801 petrol bombs, including 100 tied to cassette gas canisters which were used to cause extensive damage, he added. “Apart from this, we also seized about 921 cassette gas (canisters).” On the offensive weapons front, Mr Li said 27 bows and 200 arrows, one air rifle and four boxes of nails which were extensively used in earlier events near the university were seized. “We have found 44 vehicles inside the carpark of Polytechnic University damaged. Most of them were (damaged) for the gasoline.”
The Government today dismissed rumours on social media that it plans to construct a police base near San Uk Ling for counter-terrorism. It clarified once again that it does not have such a plan and the claims are totally unfounded.
Police have set up a designated team to follow up on complaints against the force relating to recent major public order events, Secretary for Security John Lee said today. Mr Lee told lawmakers that as of yesterday, the Complaints Against Police Office had received 1,261 complaint cases against Police related to major public order events which took place since June 9. The complaints include those about misconduct, impoliteness and assault, involving 1,647 allegations. Of which, 467 are reportable complaints lodged by people directly affected, involving 687 allegations. There were 794 cases regarded as anonymous complaints or complaints lodged by people who are not directly affected, or complaints which are vexatious and frivolous. They involved 960 allegations and were classified as notifiable complaints. All complaint cases are under investigation. Mr Lee said the designated team consists of 26 members who did not take part in handling the unrest in the past few months, adding the team is sparing no effort in following up the relevant complaints. He stressed that the well-established two-tier mechanism of handling complaints against Police, consisting of the Complaints Against Police Office and the Independent Police Complaints Council, has been in effective operation for more than 10 years. If members of the public wish to lodge complaints against the conduct of police officers, they may identify the officers concerned based on their unique identification numbers or identifiable operational call signs, he added. Mr Lee said during recent major public order events, uniformed police officers on duty would display their unique identification numbers or identifiable operational call signs, while plainclothes police officers would identify themselves or produce warrant cards, or display identifiable operational call signs, as long as doing so was not infeasible under the operational circumstances. Police introduced operational call signs as a pilot measure in response to public concerns on the display of officers’ unique identification numbers, Mr Lee explained, adding operational call signs of officers who participate in an operation are as effective as unique identification numbers in identifying a police officer. He said the arrangement enhances the force’s overall effectiveness in large-scale operations and strikes a proper balance between ensuring the identification of police officers and protecting their personal data from malicious disclosure. If complainants are unable to provide the concerned officers’ numbers or operational call signs, Police will identify the officers concerned according to their manpower deployment, duty records, the time and location of the incident in relation to the complaint, etc, Mr Lee added.