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Opening remarks by Police Senior Superintendent at press conference

     Following are the opening remarks by the Senior Superintendent of Police Public Relations Branch, Mr Kong Man-keung, at the press conference today (November 3):

     I will first respond to some individuals alleging publicly that Police had used excessive force during the confrontation on Lung Wo Road in the early morning of October 15.  These individuals claimed that they had not lodged any complaint against Police due to their own concerns.

     I would like to draw your attentions and memories back to the night of the confrontations. As what could be seen on the television and newspaper reports, on the night of the incident, some radical protesters who were assembling unlawfully ignored public safety, dashed onto Lung Wo Road, and threw objects like water bottles on the road. Some protesters even blocked the east and west bound lanes there with water barriers which resulted in a chaotic situation.  During the incident, a large crowd of radical protesters surrounded and charged police officers. They verbally abused and humiliated our officers, stirred up others・ emotion and even attempted to stop officers from escorting the arrested persons away.  Despite repeated Police advice and warnings, they continued their illegal acts. Under such circumstances, Police had used minimum level of force to restore public order.  On that night, Police arrested 45 persons, including 37 males and 8 females, aged 17 to 54, for offences including .Unlawful Assembly・.

     I need to point out that Police have been handling illegal acts in a professional, highly restrained and impartial manner.  Police will take resolute actions commensurate with the circumstances at scene to preserve public peace and public safety.  During the confrontation at Lung Wo Road, five officers were injured during their execution of duty.

     I reiterate that the Complaints Against Police Office (CAPO) will handle all complaints related to the unlawful assembly impartially and in accordance with established mechanism.  All such Reportable Complaints will be passed to the Serious Complaint Committee of Independent Police Complaints Council for review.  The one-sided allegation on Police excessive use of force is unfair and those in doubt are advised to approach CAPO as soon as possible.

     The second point is about cyber crime.  Last night, a report was made to Aberdeen Police Station that messages were found on social media threatening to commit violent acts in Admiralty.  The case was classified as .Access to Computer with Criminal and Dishonest Intent・ and is currently investigated by Technology Crime Division.  No arrest has been made at this stage.

     I want to remind the public that the Internet environment is not a lawless virtual world.  Illegal acts in the cyber world are sanctioned by laws and offenders are subject to criminal liability.  The majority of the laws of Hong Kong are equally applicable to the cyber world.  Inciting others to commit criminal acts on the Internet is also illegal.  We advise the public to abide by the law in the virtual arena.  Police will collect evidence on offences committed on the Internet, conduct follow-up investigation and make arrest as necessary.

     In fact, since September 26, Police have arrested 13 persons, including 10 males and 3 females, aged 13 to 39, for the offences of .Access to Computer with Criminal and Dishonest Intent・ and .Criminal Intimidation・.

     The last point is about Injunction Orders.  I would like to remind the public that the Injunction Orders on the illegal occupation of roads in Mong Kok and access to CITIC Tower in Admiralty are still valid.  I urge the illegal road occupiers to respect the rule of law, to comply with the court orders and to leave the occupied areas as soon as possible.

     I reiterate that if any person obstructs the authorized persons in executing the Injunction Orders, Police are duty bound to take action to safeguard public safety and public order.  Police will take resolute actions if anyone resorts to violence against these authorized persons in executing the Injunction Orders.

     I urge the protesters, students in particular, to stay away from radical individuals and troublemakers.  Do not mix with them in the crowd or be incited to take part in any violent acts.  When Police are taking enforcement actions, do maintain a safe distance from them.  Do not put up resistance or charge at Police.  We do not want to see anyone, especially students, getting hurt when they mix with radical protestors and troublemakers during confrontations.

     To conclude, I need to point out that the endless unlawful assemblies and extensive illegal occupation of roads have harmed the interest of the majority of our society.  I hope the students illegally occupying the roads, would be sensible enough to consider the sufferings and disruptions that were caused to the general public.  For the overall benefits of the Hong Kong society, and in respecting the court order, I hope the initiators, organizers and illegal occupiers would have the courage to cease the illegal occupation, so that the citizens・ normal daily lives can resume and public order restored.

     Lastly, I would like to sum up today・s messages.  Firstly, Police have all along been highly restrained in the use of force and will only use the minimum level of force commensurate with the situation as necessary.  I urge those who have made allegations on the use of excessive force by Police to approach CAPO.

     Secondly, I urge members of the public not to commit any illegal acts on the Internet, in particular not to threaten or incite anyone in the use of violence.  Police will no doubt take follow-up investigation on such cases.

     Thirdly, for the overall benefits of Hong Kong, I urge the illegal road occupiers to respect the rule of law, to comply with the court orders and to cease the illegal occupation soonest.

Ends/Monday, November 3, 2014
Issued at HKT 19:18


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