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Remarks by the Chief Superintendent of Police Public Relations Branch at the press conference on protests

     Following is the transcript of opening remarks made by the Chief Superintendent of Police Public Relations Branch, Mr Hui Chun-tak, today (October 6) at a press conference on the protests at various locations on Hong Kong Island and in Kowloon over the past few days:

     Yesterday, some protestors in Mong Kok and at the junction of Lung Wo Road and Tim Wa Avenue left the occupied area in a peaceful and orderly manner, and also removed the obstacles on the blocked roads.  We welcome their decision.

     Regrettably, some other protestors have insisted to stay and refused to take Police¡¦s advice to leave.  They were also highly emotional.  The extended occupation not only causes serious traffic jam, but also severe impacts on the residents and shopkeepers nearby.  This also creates grievance of the public and can lead to chaos and confrontations easily.  The blockage of Tim Wa Avenue affects those civil servants working in the Central Government Complex. Vehicles cannot enter or leave.  This affects the Government¡¦s operation and services provided for the public.

     I urge the protestors occupying the roads in Mong Kok, and at the junction of Lung Wo Road and Tim Wa Avenue, to leave in a peaceful and orderly manner, remove the obstacles blocking the roads, or reduce the areas being blocked as far as possible.

     I would like to point out that Police have deployed appropriate manpower in Mong Kok to maintain law and order, and to prevent further confrontation of people having different views.

     There are organisations alleging that Police have not handled the confrontations properly.  I must emphasize that this is extremely unfair to our officers on the frontline.  The public can see from the television that our officers have been maintaining law and order diligently and faithfully at the scenes in Mong Kok.

     In the past few days, Police have arrested a total of 37 persons including 34 males and three females, aged between 18 and 67, in connection with the confrontations in Mong Kok.  They were arrested for the offences of Fighting in Public Place, Unlawful Assembly, Assault, Possession of Offensive Weapon, Indecent Assault, Criminal Intimidation, Criminal Damage and Disorder in Public Place, etc.  There may be further arrests.

     Police appeal to the public to comply with the law, stay calm, and cooperate with our officers, so as to avoid confrontations and chaos.  Police will take stringent actions against any acts of violence.

     Yesterday, organisations of the logistics industry organised vehicle procession to protest against acts of blockage of roads as this has seriously affected their business.  I hope that the protestors occupying the roads can consider the adverse effect caused to other people, and respect other people¡¦s right to use the roads.

     The blockage of roads across Hong Kong and Kowloon has already affected the daily life of the general public.  People going to work, students going to school, are delayed unreasonably.

     In response to people providing downloadable software on the Internet for others to attack the Government websites, the Commercial Crime Bureau took action this morning, conducted searches in different locations, and arrested five persons, aged between 13 and 39, for the offence of ¡§Access to computer with criminal or dishonest intent¡¨.  Six sets of computer, six mobile devices and other computer equipment were seized.

     Police remind the public that laws in the real world are also applicable in the cyber world.  It is illegal for anyone to willfully attack the Government websites.  Police will take stringent enforcement actions against these criminal acts.

     Many Police officers have been injured during the confrontations in the past few days.  Up to date, we have received reports involving 27 officers.

     You can see from the television and newspaper that a Police inspector was hit on the head by a protestor with a piece of stone during the confrontation in Mong Kok, resulting in bleeding and a very deep laceration on the forehead.  Another Police sergeant was attacked and sustained bone fracture to his finger.  Also, many officers felt sick after long hours of hard work.

     Police will not tolerate these acts of violence.  I strongly believe that the public do not want to see such violent scenes, and certainly, do not accept any violent acts damaging public order and public safety.

Ends/Monday, October 6, 2014
Issued at HKT 18:56


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