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 24).

     I would like to first focus on the critical situation in Mong Kok. Last Friday and Saturday, radical protesters and troublemakers called on more people to illegally occupy roads in Mong Kok. At various locations, they charged police cordon lines, and snatched mills barriers. In order to avoid the situation to deteriorate and to prevent members of the public, onlookers and police officers from unnecessary harm, Police took actions decisively to restore order. During the past weekend, Police arrested a total of 36 persons in the illegally occupied areas in Mong Kok. There were also 17 police officers who sustained injuries.

     At present, confrontations and crime cases occur everyday in the illegally occupied areas in Mong Kok.  The current situation no-longer matches with the ¡§non-violent¡¨ principle as the protesters have claimed earlier. Radical protesters and troublemakers were amongst those remaining in the unlawful assembly.  They stirred up the emotions of the persons at scene. They provoked police officers and charged our cordon lines to create chaos. In comparison with other illegally occupied areas, the situations in Mong Kok are actually more chaotic and dangerous. As pointed out in the rulings of the Court of First Instance, the demonstration in question based on civil disobedience have taken place for so long, in such a scale which has affected so many people and which has the real risk of turning into civil disorder.

     We do not wish to see any more confrontations during this weekend. I therefore urge the general public not to go to the affected areas in Mong Kok and not to incite others to further obstruct any other roads. Should there be any troublemakers carrying out any violent behaviour or charge Police, we, with no other alternatives, will use minimum force to maintain law and order and ensure public safety.

     Police have repeatedly reminded protesters not to reinforce road obstacles. However, last night, some of them still piled up large pallets and used plastic straps to tie them up with mills barriers. Police at scene immediately urged the protesters to cease their actions, so as to avoid causing obstruction to emergency services and traffic. Regrettably, they refused to stop. I want to stress that these behaviours are very selfish and irresponsible.

     I must repeat that, the illegally occupied areas in Mong Kok remain a high risk area. The situation is very critical. Any persons, especially youngsters and students are urged not to go to the illegally occupied areas. Remaining there as spectators is also not advisable.  Also, do not be incited by others to illegally occupy roads.  Parents should not bring their children to these high risk areas, which will expose themselves and their children to unnecessary harm.

     The Court of First Instance is now conducting a hearing on the Injunction Orders against the illegal obstruction of passageway in Admiralty and illegal road obstructions in Mong Kok areas.

     Since the Injunction Order is of civil nature, generally speaking, police will not be directly involved in its execution. The Plaintiff or his/her agent will take lawful and appropriate measures to execute the Order. Police will deploy suitable manpower and take appropriate actions to maintain order, protect safety and prevent crime at the scene.  Police reiterate that we will not tolerate any violent behaviour. If there is any breach of the peace or any illegal act, police will take resolute actions.

     The rule of law is the core stone of Hong Kong. Every citizen should be law-abiding and respect court orders.  Otherwise, there will be far reaching negative impacts on the rule of law in Hong Kong. The low crime rate, good law and order is not only dependent on police enforcement actions, but also requires efforts of every citizen to be abide by the law.  Police cannot do it single-handedly.  I wish the general public would continue to support police in our execution of duties.  For illegal occupiers, I urge you to cease your illegal acts and stop causing damage to the rule of law in Hong Kong.

Ends/Friday, October 24, 2014
Issued at HKT 17:52