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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 6):

     First of all, I would like to talk about a few incidents on Hong Kong Island which took place between the previous evening to this early morning. Protestors wearing masks  took part in processions in Causeway Bay, Admiralty and Central areas and even dashed out onto the roads.

     In this early morning, more than a hundred masked protestors gathered on Lung Wo Road, Admiralty. During the incident, about 20 protestors dashed onto the eastbound carriageway and intercepted the moving vehicles there.  Some of them snatched away police mills barriers and placed them in the middle of the road with a view to blocking the traffic. Some even attempted to obstruct the traffic flow by tossing coins purposely onto the carriageway. Police issued warnings to them. After that, all the protestors left.

     In another incident, an 18-year-old man was seen using a .walkie-talkie・ leading about one hundred protestors, about 50 of them wearing masks, to dash onto Queensway to block eastbound traffic. He was arrested for .unlawful assembly・ and the case is now investigated by Central Police District Investigation Team. I strongly condemn such reckless and dangerous acts, which can cause serious consequence.

     Earlier in the morning, at the junction of Queen・s Road Central and Ice House Street, Police stopped and questioned a suspicious male who was wearing mask. The man failed to produce proof of identity.  He was arrested and then released, but will be summonsed for .failing to produce identity document・.

     I also note that some protestors who were wearing masks traveled on the MTR and caused nuisance to others.  Their behaviour had caused other passengers to feel concerned and worried. Since there are large crowds traveling on the MTR, I urge protestors to stop these nuisance behaviours as they may endanger public safety and public order.

     I urge protesters not to disrupt public order or even resort to violence. Other protesters should stay away from these radical individuals and troublemakers. Do not take part or be incited to take part in any act of violence.

     I would like to point out that some protesters encouraged others to hide their identities and wear masks during protests or resistance. I have to remind these people that hiding their identities could not help them evade legal liability. Police are capable of enforcing the laws and we will take resolute enforcement actions if anyone resorts to violence.

     Secondly, I want to talk about the violent incidents occurring in the high risk area in Mong Kok.  At about 11pm, people holding polarized opinions were having a dispute in Mong Kok.  Police were deployed to separate them to prevent the incident from developing into a confrontation. During the incident, a radical male protestor repeatedly used the bright flash light of his mobile phone to obscure the view of Police officers and obstructed the officers from performing their duties. Despite repeated warnings, the male continued his disruptive acts. When Police decided to arrest this man, another male, aged 33, incited other protestors to charge the Police cordon line and obstruct Police officers. After repeated warnings, this 33-year-old man was arrested for the offences of .obstructing Police officer・, 'resisting arrest・ and .disorderly conduct・. During the arrest, that male put up resistance strongly and fell to the ground, resulting injury to his mouth. He was later sent to the hospital for medial treatment.

     At about the same time last night in Mong Kok, two males holding polarized views were quarrelling and one of them was not happy about being video-recorded by the other using mobile phone. During the incident, a mobile phone was reportedly hit onto the ground and damaged. A 50-year-old man was later arrested for .criminal damage・. The above two cases are now handled by Mong Kok District Investigation Team.

     At about 2.30am this morning, around 200 highly emotional illegal road occupiers gathered in Mong Kok. The scene was chaotic and Police urged the protestors to remain restrained and stay clam. During the incident, a male acted against Police advice by leading and inciting others to charge at the Police cordon line, with an attempt to dash onto the road. Police had issued multiple warnings and displayed warning banners, which were however ignored. Police had no choice but to use pepper spray to contain the situation. A 24-year-old man was arrested for the offences of .assaulting Police officer・, 'resisting arrest・ and .obstructing Police officer・. The case is now handled by Mong Kok District Investigation Team.

     I trust we are all well aware of the current situation in the illegally occupied area in Mong Kok, which is still a high-risk area.  There are radical protesters and troublemakers mixing with other protesters in the unlawful assemblies. They incite others to disrupt public order and even to physically charge against Police. I must emphasis that Police will not tolerate any violent charging and are duty bound to take resolute action in preserving the public peace and public order.

     The third point is about the law abiding awareness. I trust all Hong Kong citizens are proud of the good public order that we are enjoying and makes other metropolitan cities envy. We are concerned about the growing tendency of people not abiding by the law arising from the illegal occupation and blockage of roads.

     I notice that crimes and confrontations take place every day in the illegally occupied areas. Apart from the previously mentioned confrontations, there were individuals misappropriating government or private properties, such as mills barriers, water barriers, road signs and miscellaneous items, to build obstacles for blocking roads. There were also individuals illegally abstracting electricity. Furthermore, the surfaces of the pavement and curb along Harcourt Road and Queensway were damaged, because some 60 to 70 paving bricks there were lift simply for securing banners of protestors. These are selfish and shameful acts. Should these criminal acts and the sense of lawlessness continue, the majority of the community will suffer while offenders and criminals will benefit from the deteriorating order.

     I emphasis that no one can go above the rule of law irrespective of the grounds and the general public will not accept or agree to such behaviours.

     I would like to sum up the key messages today. Firstly, I have to sternly warn radical protestors, trouble makers and those mask-wearing protesters. Their attempts to hide their faces would not help them to evade legal liability.  Police will not tolerate any violent behaviours. We will collect evidence and will take resolute action against any illegal acts.

     Secondly, there are conflicts and confrontations in the illegally occupied areas. Members of the public should stay away from radical individuals and troublemakers. Do not take part or be incited to take part in any act of violence.

     Thirdly, illegal activities are still occurring in the illegally occupied areas. The community will ultimately suffer from a persistent sense of lawlessness, which is eroding the good order of Hong Kong. I urge protestors to observe the laws and not to take part in any illegal activities.

     Hong Kong Police are committed to preserving public safety and public order. We will remain steadfast and do our very best in serving all Hong Kong citizens.

Ends/Thursday, November 6, 2014
Issued at HKT 21:33


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