Following are the opening remarks by the Chief Superintendent of Police Public Relations Branch, Mr Hui Chun-tak, at the press conference today (October 8):
In the past week or so, the road blockage has brought extensive impact on the daily lives of everyone. Traffic flow in the vicinity of the occupied roads in Hong Kong Island and West Kowloon areas has become quite chaotic. Some have even been paralysed. Congestion has also spilled over to East Kowloon and New Territories. It has directly and seriously affected the people who are going to work, students going to school, the running of business and the community as a whole.
Because of the illegal blockage of major roads, we also see congestion in the alternative routes and the local streets, which, could have been avoided. As mentioned in the press conference yesterday, the blockage of traffic near Queensway and Cotton Tree Drive, as a result of the obstruction by the large obstacles, has directly led to serious traffic overload in the mid-levels. It has caused unreasonably large impact on the local residents, people going to work, students going to school in Central and Western District. The very few protesters occupying extensive area on the roads are very irrational. I appeal the people unlawfully gathering at the locations to remove the obstacles as soon as possible, and leave.
Protesters have used obstacles to block the roads in Mong Kok for quite some time. It has already caused grievances among the residents and directly affected the local business. I hope the protesters, while expressing their demands, would also consider the needs of the local residents and respect the rights of other road users. It is with this intention that I hope the protesters could remove the obstacles as soon as possible.
The logistics industry has already made it clear that the blockage of roads has seriously affected the income of drivers. The negative sentiments have increased the risk of direct confrontation with the protesters. I hope the protesters, who are now illegally occupying the roads, could hear the voice of the industry, remove the obstacles as soon as possible and allow the traffic flow to resume.
We can still see emotional clashes of opinions in Mong Kok now. I stress, the great impact on the daily lives of the local residents, the local businesses and the livelihood of the drivers in logistics industry, would only agitate the people affected and further increase the risk of confrontation. The provocative behaviour of some troublemakers has made the situation even worse. Mong Kok has turned into a "high risk" area.
Police have adjusted deployment in Mong Kok, with reinforcement of manpower from other police districts. It is done with the prime objective to prevent any confrontation. However, it has also, unavoidably, affected the delivery of other police services. We do not want to give an opportunity for the criminals to take advantage.
I emphasise people who are taking part in the unlawful assemblies and illegally occupying the roads have already brought great impact on traffic flow, which, seriously affected the daily lives of the general public.
I sincerely hope that, for the sake of protesters themselves and other members of the public, the people taking part in these assemblies could remove the obstacles as soon as possible and leave in an orderly manner. So that, both the traffic and the normal daily lives of the public could resume.
Ends/Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Issued at HKT 18:45