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Police have formed a safety team to enter the Polytechnic University (PolyU) campus to persuade people staying there to leave peacefully. Speaking to the media today, Police Yau Tsim District Commander Ho Yun-sing said the force understands the public's concern about the alarming situation at the university, especially the health and well-being of the people who remain on campus. “In the interest of their safety, Police have formed a safety team enlisting officers from other departments, including the fire services, ambulance services as well as Police Negotiation Cadre. “The team will also include some independent mediators, including social workers, scholars, secondary school heads and also former Independent Police Complaints Council members. “The safety team will enter the campus for negotiation and give assistance to those in need.” He noted that Police have been adopting peaceful means and a flexible approach to solve the situation. “Police now will roll out a flexible measure. For those who have medical needs, regardless of their age, we will arrange medical assistance to them without arresting them on the spot. “We will only record their personal data, take photographs before arranging medical assistance. But we will pursue their cases later. Our principle is first rendering medical assistance and will not arrest them on the spot.” He reiterated the force's wish to resolve the situation at the university peacefully. “Our objective is loud and clear: we wish for a peaceful solution to the situation. It is certainly our goal to restore order and safety as soon as possible. “So far around 1,100 people have left the PolyU campus in a peaceful and orderly manner, with 300 of them aged below 18. “We will continue to maintain communication with the school management and hope their staff will join our safety team soon. Once again we appeal to those who still remain on the campus to leave in a peaceful and orderly manner.”
Police today appealed to all those staying on the Polytechnic University campus to leave peacefully, and pledged to bring offenders to justice in a fair manner. Police issued the statement in response to the situation on the university's campus. The force said it has all along emphasised the two fundamental principles of peaceful resolution and flexibility in dealing with the situation. Police explained that some of those remaining on campus are underage and reiterated that it will arrange an appropriate adult to escort those under 18 off campus. The statement pointed out that all minors leaving the campus must have their personal particulars registered and be photographed. While they will not be arrested at the scene, Police reserve the right to pursue future legal action. Over the past few days, Police actively sought solutions by conversing with different sectors of society, including university staff, principals, social workers, lawyers, Legislative Councillors, religious leaders and clinical psychologists. Police reiterated that a peaceful resolution is always its aim when solving conflicts.
Police Commissioner Tang Ping-keung today said Police will deploy adequate manpower to ensure electors can cast their votes safely for the 2019 District Council Ordinary Election this Sunday. Speaking to reporters, Mr Tang said: “I think the whole point is to ensure the safety of the polling stations and ensure that those who want to vote can safely, without any interference, go and vote. And in fact, with a police presence, citizens will feel safe to go and vote.” The police chief also made an appeal for a violence-free polling day. “Violence may deter people from voting, but by having sufficient police presence, we are there to ensure the safety of the voters, so, we are there to ensure safety. So, that's the reason why I appeal for no violence on that day. If there's any violence, we'll deal with it immediately without any hesitation.”
Police Commissioner Tang Ping-keung today pledged that those under 18 years old who leave the Polytechnic University campus will not be arrested on the spot. Speaking to the media this afternoon, Mr Tang said Police wish to end the incident at the university by peaceful means. He urged people remaining at the campus to come out. “This is a police promise that for those under 18 years of age, we will not arrest them on the spot. And for all other people, when they come out, we will deal with them as usual and we will deal with them impartially.” Mr Tang also refuted media reports suggesting Police were imposing travel restrictions on those under 18 years of age. “Regarding your mentioning about people leaving Polytechnic University not being allowed to leave Hong Kong, this is a wrong message as quoted by some of the media today. “For those under 18 years of age, for those who come out, we will not make any arrests on the spot and they are free to leave Hong Kong.”
Secretary for Security John Lee today urged those remaining at the Polytechnic University campus to come out and surrender. Mr Lee told reporters at the Legislative Council this morning that around 900 people have surrendered so far. “For those who still have not made up their mind to come out and surrender, then of course we will continue to persuade them through all sorts of means. I think society’s efforts collectively will help. “It is important, I think, that the right message is given to them that whatever their self-proclaimed purpose is, if their acts contravene the law, then everybody has to take up their responsibility.” Mr Lee added that this message must be spread, as it is important for Hong Kong to continue as a law-abiding city. He also stressed that Police will conduct a thorough investigation of each person that comes out of the university campus, adding that the rule of law will ensure that everybody will be dealt with justly.
Police are looking to resolve the situation at Polytechnic University peacefully. Police Public Relations Branch Chief Superintendent Kwok Ka-chuen made the statement at a press conference today. He said: “Regarding the standstill in Polytechnic University, Police have been searching for a peaceful resolution. “We understand public concern about the welfare of those rioters, so we have actively engaged other government departments and stakeholders for a joint effort to bring out the rioters.” Mr Kwok said Police arranged 60 secondary school principals, 15 teachers and 10 Social Welfare Department staff to enter the campus to render assistance. The force also proactively liaised with the university management and managed to persuade 47 teaching staff to come out of the campus. Additionally, Red Cross volunteers and qualified first aiders were arranged by Police to enter the campus to render first aid to rioters. Around 20 injured rioters were treated and some of them were sent to hospitals for treatment. Mr Kwok also said that the management of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) reported the theft of dangerous chemicals from their laboratory. He said police officers yesterday entered the campus to gather evidence and dispose of dangerous goods with the assistance of university staff. “Over 3,900 petrol bombs were seized, which is the highest number recorded in one single location. I’m saddened to report that the CUHK has become a manufacturing base for petrol bombs. “The dangerous chemicals stolen include in total 100 litres of chemicals, such as concentrated acid. These are raw ingredients for making petrol bombs. They are highly corrosive and toxic. “We appeal to students to mind their own safety and not come into contact with those dangerous items if they find them on campus or any public place.” Mr Kwok added that Police used 1,458 tear gas rounds, 1,391 rubber bullets, 325 bean bag rounds and 265 sponge grenades on November 18.
Police clarified today that no stampede occurred during the operation in Yau Ma Tei on November 18. The force refuted an online rumour that claimed a stampede occurred and resulted in mass injuries. It also noted thousands of rioters hurled bricks and petrol bombs at police officers at the time, and that the situation was pressing. A dispersal operation was conducted after reinforcement, and a number of fleeing rioters fell down on Pitt Street near the MTR Yau Ma Tei Station exit. Police controlled the scene and arrested 213 people, 30 of them claimed to be sick and were sent to hospital. The situation at the scene does not match with the stampede rumour, the force added.