Following is the transcript of opening remarks made by the Chief Superintendent of Police Public Relations Branch, Mr Hui Chun-tak, today (October 7) at a press conference on the protests at various locations on Hong Kong Island and in Kowloon over the past few days:
Although some students left the assembly in Mong Kok yesterday, there are still protestors blocking the roads illegally in the area, refusing to leave upon Police advice. They have occupied the road illegally for many days, obstructed the roads, causing chaotic traffic condition. Some roads are even paralysed. Because of the serious impacts on their normal life, the nearby residents are very disturbed.
People holding different and strong views gathering in the area are highly emotional, having quarrels on occasions. The chance of further confrontations is increasing. Some people are also provoking the others. The location has become a high risk area.
Some people are organising or asking the protestors to stay and occupy the road. This is a totally reckless act, neglecting the safety of others, in particular youngsters. They also ignore the serious impact on the life of the residents nearby. They must be held responsible should there be any further confrontations and chaos.
Police stress that, to prevent violent crimes and reduce harm to life and property, we will take actions at the appropriate time. Again, for the sake of personal safety, I urge all people there, students, onlookers and others to leave this high risk area at once.
Some protestors are still gathering unlawfully at Lung Wo Road and Tim Wa Avenue. They are occupying the roads illegally, causing serious obstruction. Not only the traffic, but also government services provided for the general public, are affected. Vehicles cannot enter or leave the Central Government Complex. Normal operation of the Government is directly affected, causing great inconvenience to people in need of government services.
I urge them to leave in a peaceful and orderly manner immediately, remove all obstacles and let the traffic resume.
In the past few days, protestors having different views used highly aggressive means to express their views, resulting in chaos or even violent confrontations. People, including citizens and police officers, were injured. If the situation goes on, there is high chance of further confrontations. This is not what Police and the public want to see.
Yesterday, at two locations about 100 meters away from the protestors in Admiralty area, Police seized dangerous offensive weapons, including beef knives. We are now actively looking into the cases.
Police urge people holding different views to comply with the law, stay calm and cooperate with Police, so as to prevent further scuffles and chaos. We will continue to deploy sufficient manpower and take stringent actions against any violent acts.
Last week, every police officer worked day-and-night to uphold public safety and public order. I have to point out that, because of the unlawful assemblies and illegal occupations of roads, Police had to deploy a lot of manpower over a long period of time. But some people still made false reports to waste police resources.
I emphasise, routine and effective police deployment is crucial to maintaining public order and preserving social stability. We do not want to see any citizens harm by criminals, and criminals can take this advantage to damage law and order. I sincerely hope that people, at this moment still gathering unlawfully and blocking the roads illegally, can leave in a peaceful and orderly fashion so that the public can return to their normal life.
I note that recently in the social media, people have uploaded certain misleading and discriminatory video clips, alleging that Police are not carrying out duties properly. There was an allegation that a plainclothes officer mixed with the crowd and incited other protestors. I am here to firmly rebut the allegation. This is totally unfounded and defamatory.
I emphasise, depending on the actual situations, Police will deploy uniformed or plainclothes officers to handle cases and various reports. Their duties are the same, to prevent crimes and to protect life and property. And this has been our practice all along.
These misleading video clips in the social media are extremely unfair to our officers performing their duties diligently on the frontline.
I stress that protestors now assembling unlawfully and blocking the roads illegally are seriously affecting the publicˇ¦s normal life and causing grievances to other people. The chance of violent confrontations is increasing, and the locations are becoming high risk areas. For personal safety, and safety of others, all protestors should remove obstacles on the roads and leave at once, so that the traffic flow and the daily life of everyone can resume normal.
Ends/Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Issued at HKT 18:53