Hong Kong people’s satisfaction with the police has hit its lowest level since the 1997 handover, according to a survey released by the Public Opinion Programme (POP) of the University of Hong Kong.
The latest reading of the net satisfaction index for the local police fell to 36.3, while that for the People’s Liberation Army assigned to the city dropped to 31.5, also a new low, Ming Pao Daily reported on Wednesday.
Dr. Robert Chung, the POP director, said the rising dissatisfaction was mainly due to current political tensions between Hong Kong and the mainland.
The survey was conducted from June 16 to June 30, or shortly before the July 1 protest march, with 1,009 respondents.
Meanwhile, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said the relationship between the police and the people was generally good, adding that the police are highly professional and responsible, observing restraint in dealing with large gatherings.
Leung was responding a reporter’s query about a statement from an officers’ group, who said some protesters were “provoking quarrels and making trouble”, a phrase that is often used by mainland authorities in arresting or filing criminal charges against political dissidents.
The POP survey shows that compared to seven months ago, the popularity and net satisfaction ratings of most disciplinary forces have dropped, although the figures are still quite positive.
Of the most highly regarded disciplinary forces in the city, the Hong Kong Fire Services Department remained on top. Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department and Hong Kong Immigration Department climbed one rung each to second and third, respectively. The Civil Aid Service ranked fourth, while the Hong Kong Police Force stayed at fifth.
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