Police's deployment and action consideration on July 1

     Police will conduct risk assessment when deciding on the manpower deployment and actions to be taken in handling public events. Police actions on July 1 were taken as a result of a number of considerations and continued risk assessment. The risk assessment conducted for the July 1 events was comprehensive and complicated. One of the most important considerations was the vital need to protect the safety of those present at scene, including protestors, journalists, police officers and others.

     Police noticed on the internet beforehand that some individuals have claimed to resort to radical acts, including initiating “dust storm explosion” and “threaten to fight until death”. On July 1, protestors not only used offensive weapons such as mills barriers and iron poles, but also poisonous and inflammable chemicals to attack Police officers. If protestors tried to ignite the chemicals inside the Legislative Council Complex (Complex), which is an indoor confined space, the consequence would be unimaginable. The options on force to be taken were also very limited inside such an indoor confined space. Besides, protestors also controlled without authority the electrical installations inside the Complex which could turn the scene into total darkness at any time, critically increasing the risk faced by the people present at scene.

     In addition, when the protestors began to storm into the Complex, a large-scale public procession was taking place in the vicinity. Any Police action may affect people's emotions and lead to a deterioration of the situation, the consequences of which may be unpredictable.

     Based on the above considerations, Police did not take immediate actions at the Complex and had avoided as far as possible physical encounters with the protestors. As a result of these decisions, there were no serious casualties throughout the incident.

     Police will resolutely pursue the protestors for their illegal and violent acts at the Complex on July 1. The Organized Crime and Triad Bureau is now actively investigating and collecting evidence relating to the incident in order to bring the offenders to justice.

     Police reiterated that the actions taken on July 1 were a result of continued risk assessment and thorough considerations. Police hoped that there will not be unnecessary speculations about Police’s operation on the day.

Ends/Wednesday, July 3, 2019
Issued at HKT 20:57