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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 (November 1):

     The first point is about offences related to illegal occupations.  Police have all along expressed our concern about the growing tendency of people not abiding by the law arising from the illegal occupation and blockage of roads.  The illegal acts have eroded our most treasured value of the rule of law, which is the cornerstone of the success of Hong Kong.

     There are still daily occurrence of crimes and conflicts relating to the illegal occupation.  At 7.30pm last evening, two cans of spray paint were dropped from height in Causeway Bay.  Police later arrested four youngsters, aged between 15 and 16, on the rooftop of a building.  They were suspected of allowing objects to drop from height.  The case is now investigated by Wan Chai District Investigation Team.

     At about 11pm yesterday, Police arrested a 46-year-old female for criminal damage.  Also, at about 2am today, two police officers, when they were responding to a dispute case on Nathan Road, Mong Kok, a 35-year-old man assaulted one of the officers and pushed the other officer onto the ground. The man was arrested for assaulting police.  These two cases are now handled by Mong Kok District Investigation Team.

     Since the commencement of the illegal occupation, Police have arrested 319 persons, including 272 males and 47 females, for offences including unlawful assembly, disorderly conduct in a public place, assault, criminal damage, resisting arrest, assaulting police officer and obstructing police officer, etc.  On the other hand, 65 police officers, including 64 male officers and one female officer, have been injured in the execution of statutory duties.

     Police have repeatedly pointed out, the illegally occupied area in Mong Kok is of a higher risk of turning chaotic than other areas.  There are radical protesters and troublemakers holding polarised views.  The illegal occupation there is prone to disputes which could easily develop into scuffles and physical confrontations.  Police are concerned about the worsening situation.  We urge members of the public to remain calm and peaceful in expressing their opinions, and should under no circumstances resort to violence.

     The second point is about cyber crime.  I note there are some concerns and misunderstanding of Police investigation into some of the recent cyber crimes.  There is also query as to whether Police are suppressing the freedom of expression on the Internet.  Police reiterate our respect for the freedom of speech.  However, I must point out that the Internet is not a lawless virtual world.  Any illegal acts in the cyber world are sanctioned by laws, and offenders are subject to criminal liability.

     The majority of the ordinances in Hong Kong are applicable in the cyber world and we advise the public to abide by the law in the virtual arena.  For the purpose of carrying out our statutory duties to prevent and detect crime, Police may request Internet service providers to provide necessary information in order to assist in the investigation.  All requests for information would be made in accordance with the established procedures and related ordinances or code of practice.

     I would like to remind the public, it is an offence to incite others to commit criminal acts on the Internet. Police will collect evidence on any offences committed on the Internet, conduct follow up investigation and make arrest as necessary.

     Since September 26, Police have arrested 12 persons including nine males and three females, aged between 13 and 39, for the offence of access to computer with criminal or dishonest intent.

     The third point is about respecting the rule of law.  I would like to remind the public that the Interim Injunction Orders on the illegal occupation of roads in Mong Kok and the blockage of access to CITIC Tower in Admiralty remain in force.  I urge illegal road occupiers to respect the rule of law and to comply with the orders of the court and to leave the occupied areas promptly.  Police stress, we are committed to preserving public peace and order and will take actions against anyone who obstructs those authorised to execute the Injunction Orders.  If anyone resorts to violence against those authorised persons, Police will take resolute actions.

     I urge protesters, in particular students, to stay away from radical individuals and troublemakers.  Do not mix with these radicals in the crowd, do not take part or be incited to take part in any act of violence and do not charge at Police.  We do not want to see anyone, especially students, being hurt when they place themselves close to the radical individuals and troublemakers during their violent acts.  When Police officers are executing their duties on the ground, protesters, in particular students, should not put up resistance.  They should stay calm and maintain a safe distance.

     Many citizens may take part in various public activities during the weekend.  I would like to remind the public to stay alert, be vigilant to their personal safety and to follow Police instructions whilst taking part in these activities, particularly in crowded places.

     I would like to highlight my points again.  Firstly, as there are still daily occurrence of crimes in the illegally occupied areas, particularly Mong Kok, which remains high risk, members of the public should stay away from these illegally occupied areas.  All illegal occupiers are urged to leave promptly.

     Secondly, members of the public, students in particular, should not commit offences on the Internet or to incite others to do so.

     Thirdly, protesters should respect the rule of law.  They should not obstruct those authorised to execute the Injunction Orders.  Students in particular, should not be incited by radical individuals to commit illegal acts or to resort to the use of violence so as to avoid unnecessary injuries.

     Please rest assured that Police will remain impartial and steadfast, and will continue to serve the public with devotion.

Ends/Saturday, November 1, 2014
Issued at HKT 18:20


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