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Opening remarks by Senior Superintendent at a media session

     Following are the opening remarks by Senior Superintendent of Police Public Relations Branch, Mr Kong Man-keung, at a media session today (November 30).
     I now provide the gist of the two key messages today. The first one is about the situation in Mong Kok.
     Since Police have assisted bailiffs in executing injunction orders in Mong Kok and resumed the traffic and public order, Mong Kok remains a high risk area. Particularly for the past two nights, protestors gathered there, with attempt to block the roads and disrupt public order.  Police strongly condemn all such acts.
     In the past two nights, large groups of protestors assembled illegally on Sai Yeung Choi Street South and Shantung Street.  They later moved on to other streets in Mong Kok, and even Tsim Sha Tsui slowly.  They used different acts to obstruct the traffic and affect the daily lives of local residents.  Some troublemakers even interfered with the nearby shops and forced them to stop business even though Police repeatedly appealed them to stop the acts.  Regrettably, the protestors refused to comply.
     In the early morning on November 29, some radicals and troublemakers threw miscellaneous items such as water bottles and tin cans at Police officers and incited others to charge the Police lines. To prevent the situation from deteriorating, with no other alternatives, Police took resolute actions and used minimum level of force to stop these illegal acts, and to disperse and arrest those involved.
     There were also troublemakers placing large obstacles on the carriageways with attempt to block the roads, disregarding the safety of road users. Police had to take appropriate actions to restore the public order.
     Since November 28, Police have arrested 42 persons (38 males and 4 females), aged between 14 and 56, for the offences of  "Unlawful Assembly", "Assaulting Police", "Possession of Offensive Weapon", "Obstructing Police Officer", "Disorderly Conduct in Public Place". During the operation, eight police officers were injured.
     I again urge members of the public, particularly students, not to go to the area to avoid any unnecessary injury. Local residents and business operators should be vigilant of their personal safety. Police will deploy appropriate manpower to maintain law and order as it is our statutory duty for doing so.  
     The second key message is about student organisations calling for the public to assemble in Admiralty this evening. They asked the public to bring along with equipment such as helmet, goggle, mask and umbrella etc. and proclaimed to escalate their actions, including to block the Central Government Offices. Police stress that the unlawful assemblies in Admiralty have disrupted public order, and eroded the foundation of the rule of law of Hong Kong. Police are highly regretful that these organisations continue to incite members of the public to commit illegal acts.
     Police have also found that some people on the Internet incite members of the public to take part in the assembly and plan for violent charging acts. From the past experience, this sort of incitement would lead more radicals and troublemaking individuals or organizations to take part, making the situation even more chaotic. There are increasing risks of the assembly this evening. Untoward incidents can be sparked off any time. Police remind the public, particularly students, should be vigilant of their personal safety, stay away from the location and do not take part in the event.
    Police urge the illegal road occupiers not to do any provocative acts, obstruct or charge police officers and maintain a safe distance from our officers. Protestors, particularly students, should stay away from the radicals and troublemakers. Police do not want to see anyone, particularly students, getting hurt.
     I emphasise, if anyone obstructs Police in the execution of our duties, charges Police lines violently or attempts to block the Central Government Offices, Police will take resolute enforcement actions. In case of any violence, Police, with no other alternatives, will use minimum level of force to stop any violent and illegal acts, so as to uphold the law and order.
     I also urge media workers to be vigilant of their personal safety to avoid injuries. We will deploy Media Liaison Teams to facilitate their work on ground.
     I reiterate, Police have the determination and the capability to take enforcement actions to maintain public order and protect public safety.

Ends/Sunday, November 30, 2014
Issued at HKT 17:51


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