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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 5):

     First of all, I would like to talk about the crime situation at the illegally occupied areas.  The illegal occupation has lasted for more than a month and there are still daily occurrence of crimes and conflicts relating to the illegal occupation.  At around 11pm last night, a man quarrelled with the illegal occupiers on Nathan Road, Mong Kok and pushed another male, who was taking photos of the incident, onto the ground and left. Police are now locating the assailant, a male of about 50 years old, suspected of common assault.

     In this early morning, the illegal occupiers in Mong Kok surrounded a man who tried to enter the area and a dispute aroused.  Another man slipped and was injured during the incident.  To avoid further conflicts, Police escorted the man away from the scene.

     I have repeatedly pointed out that the illegally occupied area in Mong Kok remains a high risk area.  Radical individuals, troublemakers and people holding different views there are pronged to disputes which could easily turn into physical confrontations.  The illegal occupation is the source of various conflicts and Police hope the illegal occupiers would remove the obstacles and leave.  I urge protesters to remain calm and peaceful when expressing their opinions and should not resort to violence under any circumstances.  Students and members of the public should stay away from the occupied area in Mong Kok and should not bring children there to avoid any unnecessary injuries.

     Besides, there appears to be more and more undesirable characters mingling in the crowd in the illegally occupied areas.  There is risk of youngsters being exposed to criminals who may lure them to take part in illegal activities.  Police urge members of the public, youngsters in particular, to stay vigilant and guard against any undue influence by undesirable characters to engage in illegal activities.  I notice that some protesters have encouraged others to hide their identity and wear masks during protests or resistance.  I have to remind these people that hiding their identities could not help them to evade legal liability.  I hope they would not breach the peace or even resort to violence.  Others should stay away from these radical individuals and troublemakers and do not take part or be incited to take part in any act of violence. We have deployed appropriate manpower to respective areas to protect public safety and to maintain law and order.  Police will take resolute enforcement actions against anyone using violence.

     The second point I would like to talk about is the rule of law. I want to remind the public that the Injunction Orders regarding the illegal occupation of roads in Mong Kok and the blockage of access to CITIC Tower, Admiralty are still in force.  I urge the illegal road occupiers to respect the rule of law by complying with the court orders and leave the areas soonest.

     Police are committed to preserving public peace and public order.  We have the responsibility to take actions against individuals who forcefully obstruct those authorised to execute the Injunction Orders.  I urge the protesters, students in particular, to stay away from radical individuals and troublemakers.  Do not take part or be incited to take part in any act of violence.  Police will take resolute actions if radical individuals violently charge at those authorised to execute the Injunction Orders.

     Members of the public are well aware of the extensive disruptions caused by the illegal blockage of major roads.  The fact remains that the daily life of the general public has been seriously affected in the past month due to the illegal occupation.  The business of various sectors and the livelihoods of many workers have been adversely affected.  Hong Kong is a society that upholds the rule of law, which is our long-standing and treasured core value.  Regrettably, the prolonged illegal occupation of roads has not only seriously affected our citizensˇ¦ daily lives and livelihoods, but has also undermined our rule of law and disrupted the public order.  All these will have long-term impacts on the various sectors of our society.

     Hong Kong Police Force is a professional and responsible law enforcement agency.  Police are politically neutral.  We are duty bound to maintain law and order and to preserve public peace and ensure public safety.  We are confident and capable of enforcing the laws.  Police have all along displayed utmost tolerance and restraints in handling the illegal occupation because we do not want to see a large number of persons getting injured, especially students.  This is out of our care and concern for the well being of the students.  However, the prolonged illegal occupation of roads and the blatant defiance of court orders are endangering our foundation of the rule of law, disrupting public peace and seriously affecting the daily life and livelihoods of the public.  As such, Police have all along been urging organisers of the illegal occupation to shoulder responsibility to call for an end to the illegal blockage of roads that has lasted for more than a month.

     Lastly, I would like to sum up the key messages today. Firstly, there are still conflicts and crimes occurring every day in the illegally occupied areas and members of the public are urged to stay away from these areas, particularly Mong Kok.  People holding different views should express their opinions in a peaceful and rational manner.  Students should be mindful of undesirable characters and not be unduly influenced by them.

     Secondly, the endless illegal occupation has already adversely affected the public.  In the interest of protecting the studentsˇ¦ personal safety, respecting the rule of law, restoring public order and ceasing the disruptions to the publicˇ¦s daily life and livelihoods, I urge organisers and participants of the illegal occupation to stop the blockage of roads promptly and to leave the areas peacefully.  At this difficult time, Police will remain steadfast and do our very best.  We appeal for public cooperation with the Police so that we can continue to provide effective service to all Hong Kong citizens.

Ends/Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Issued at HKT 19:47


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