Date
19 August 2017
Policemen remove barricades in Mong Kok district. Frontline officers are physically and mentally exhausted and a few have had to seek in-house counseling, according to a senior official. Photo: Reuters
Policemen remove barricades in Mong Kok district. Frontline officers are physically and mentally exhausted and a few have had to seek in-house counseling, according to a senior official. Photo: Reuters

Police official: Officers only want fair treatment

A senior Hong Kong police official said the police force is neutral and will not get involved in politics.

Frontline officers are “very tired, mentally and physically”, and all they want is to be treated fairly, Winnie Chiu, director of management services of the Hong Kong Police, told a Commercial Radio program on Sunday.

She said they have been working overtime since the street occupation began three weeks ago and have had to deal with angry protesters.  

Clashes have erupted between protesters and the police in recent days, particularly in Mong Kok district.

Chiu said the situation in Mong Kok, where a standoff is continuing, is “complex and dangerous”.

Militants and trouble makers have infiltrated the protest site and could create chaos.

“[I would rather] you go to other protest sites that are peaceful [than stay in Mong Kok],” Chiu told the protesters.

Chiu said she has not seen anything like it in her 30 years with the police force.

She said the task of frontline officers is “unprecedented” and the difficulty extends across the ranks, regardless of seniority.

Frontline officers feel aggrieved by accusations of collusion with thugs and by harassment against their families, Chiu said.

However, only a small number of officers have sought in-house psychological counseling, she said.

– Contact us at [email protected]

MY/JP/RA

EJI Weekly Newsletter

Please click here to unsubscribe