Following are the opening remarks by the Senior Superintendent of Police Public Relations Branch, Mr Kong Man-keung, at the press conference today (October 10):
First of all, I will talk about the obstacles on the blocked roads. In the past few days, the Police emphasized on these obstacles, causing serious congestions, and paralysing the traffic. These lead to grievance and frustration to the public. The chance of further confrontation is increasing.
I wish to point out that, because of the blockage and obstruction of the Queensway and Hennessy Road in Causeway Bay, many bus and green minibus routes travelling through Central, Admiralty, Wan Chai, Causeway Bay are suspended or rerouted. Tram service linking Victoria Park and Western Market is forced to stop. This causes great inconvenience to the residents in Happy Valley, who have lost a major means of transport. You can also see the chaos in Central caused by the obstruction, leading to vehicles driving on wrong direction, causing dangerous situation.
In the past few days, Government officials, Chairpersons of District Councils, community leaders, representatives of the logistics industry, and Police Negotiation Cadre proceeded to Queensway to persuade the people illegally occupying the road to remove the obstacles. I regret that, all the appeals were rejected.
I again urge those people to remove the obstacles as soon as possible. To maintain public order and public safety, Police may take appropriate action when necessary to resume the normal traffic. If Police take actions to remove these obstacles, protestors must not obstruct our actions. We do not want to see further confrontations.
There are organisations appealing for the continuous illegal occupation by camping on the roads, and even the extension of the area being occupied. I emphasize, these are illegal acts, reckless to other peopleˇ¦s needs, and extremely irresponsible. General public are being seriously affected by the illegal occupation of the roads. They should respect other peopleˇ¦s rights of going to school, going to work and doing business.
About the situation in Mong Kok, you can see from the television and from the media. Illegal occupiers are occupying the roads as their living space and playground. They set up bunker bed, play football in the streets, have hotpot, and even set a table tennis table. They shout over night, creating loud noises. These all show their intention to occupy and block the roads for a long period of time. These acts are seriously damaging interests of the residents nearby, and are absolutely unacceptable to the general public.
The rising grievances increase the chance of confrontations and make Mong Kok a high risk area. I hope the people illegally occupying the roads can cater for the needs of the residents nearby, remove the obstacles as soon as possible, and relieve their grievances.
Today, I also notice the newspaper reports claiming that there were some dissatisfaction among our colleagues. I emphasise that, this is untrue and I must clarify here. Hong Kong Police is a highly professional law enforcement agency. All members are well-trained and fully committed. We have been all along discharging our duties fairly and impartially.
We understand the difficulties in carrying out our duties at this moment, and the unprecedented complexity of this operation. In the past few days, our officers are working round the clock diligently. Any unfounded allegation against our officers are extremely unfair to our diligent and devoted colleagues. I must emphasise again, we will stay united. We are serving the public selflessly as a strong team.
Now, I wish to conclude my key messages today. To avoid confrontation and harm to public safety, I urge those illegal occupiers in all districts to remove the obstacles as soon as possible, and leave in an orderly manner. They should not appeal for further occupation of more area, which will cause even bigger impact and harm to the general public.
Police will continue to discharge our duties professionally and impartially, and to strive for the benefits of all Hong Kong citizens with the greatest tolerance, and restraint, and dedication.
Ends/Friday, October 10, 2014
Issued at HKT 18:59