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Opening remarks by Police Chief Superintendent at press conference

     Following are the opening remarks by the Chief Superintendent of Police Public Relations Branch, Mr Hui Chun-tak, at the press conference today (October 20):

     I will talk about the situation in Mong Kok first. In the past few days, you can see from the media that people in the unlawful assembly that had extensively blocked the re-opened road sections again causing serious impacts on the traffic in the vicinity. Some radical protesters and troublemakers charged police cordon lines at various locations in a pre-planned and organised manner.

     Last evening, protesters wore helmets and goggles; their arms were wrapped with plastic foam, they held umbrellas in their hands and posed to charge police cordons. They jeered and scolded our officers, and incited others to charge the police cordon line to create chaos. Although no major confrontation took place, crisis could have been broken out at any moment in that situation. Mong Kok remains as a high-risk area.

     Police note that there were parents bringing kids to the occupied area in Mong Kok. As the situation in Mong Kok has been escalating, this behaviour was extremely irresponsible and dangerous. Children could have been hurt in those situations. Police issued a press release to strongly condemn such behaviour and also advise adults and children to leave the occupied area at once. Police Negotiators and Police Community Relations Officers had attended the scene to urge parents to bring their children away but this was ignored.

     I now seriously urge parents not to bring their kids to the occupied area in order to prevent any injure of the kids.  I also note that last night some protesters placed the children in the front rows facing the police cordon. Some people claimed in the social media that children will be placed under the umbrellas as human shield. This is extremely irresponsible, selfish and reckless and is totally unacceptable to the general public.

     Yesterday, Police arrested three men in Mong Kok area, aged between 31 and 52, for offences including common assault, possession of part I poison, possession of offensive weapon and disorderly conduct in public place.

     I note that there are messages posted on online forums inciting people to go to Mong Kok, to re-block roads and reset camps in road junctions. I stress that illegal occupying roads and blocking carriageways are illegal acts. Regardless, the incitements are done in real world or in the Cyber world, people will be liable under the laws.

     Most of the laws in Hong Kong are also applicable to the Cyber world. Police had arrested one 23-year-old man for access to computer with criminal or dishonest intent and unlawful assembly. Police will continue to gather evidence and investigate. When there is sufficient evidence, police will take other arrest actions.

     I want to point out that the violent charging acts in Mong Kok were illegal and had seriously jeopardised public order. They were in total contradiction of the proclaimed principle of peace and non-violence, and were completely inconsistent with their demands.

     In the past few days, some radical protesters and troublemakers, who mixed in the protesters in Mong Kok area jeered and scolded Police, attacked them with umbrellas, snatched away mill barriers and even threw the barriers at the Police. Media and public figures have pointed out that the situation in Mong Kok is spinning out of control.

     Police worry about the situation in Mong Kok and deem the illegal assembly is on the verge of turning into a riot. I appeal to the protesters in the unlawful assembly, especially to students, for the sake of your personal safety and public order, stay away from the dangerous area in Mong Kok. Most importantly, we don't want to see students injured when radical protesters and troublemakers charge police cordon.

     As a final note, I urge all radical protesters to stop all illegal and radical acts endangering public safety and public order. Any attempt to incite illegal acts and further blocking of any carriageway will seriously affect the normal lives of the society.

     Hong Kong Police is a professional law enforcement agency. It is our duty to safeguard public order and public safety. We will remain committed and continue to honour our duties professionally and impartially.

Ends/Monday, October 20, 2014
Issued at HKT 19:49


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