Hongkongers’ satisfaction with the police has hit its lowest level since the handover in 1997, a survey by the Public Opinion Program (POP) of the University of Hong Kong shows.
The net satisfaction index for the local police force fell to 29, while the index for the People’s Liberation Army garrison in the city rose to 35, Ming Pao Daily reported Wednesday.
POP director Robert Chung Ting-yiu said the decline in satisfaction with the police was linked to the way they handled the Occupy protests.
Chung called on the police to improve their professionalism in dealing with tensions and to care more for society.
He said he hopes the police will not draw too close to political forces or use unorthodox ways to deal with social problems. Political problems should be solved through politics, Chung said.
The survey was conducted in mid-November, about six weeks after the Occupy protests were launched.
Senior Superintendent Kong Man-keung of the police public relations branch was quoted by Ming Pao as saying the police agree the survey results were affected by individual issues and will respect the findings and take them as a reference.
However, Kong said, the police have received a lot of letters from the public voicing support for their actions.
The POP survey shows that the popularity and net satisfaction ratings of most of the city’s other disciplined services have risen since June.
The Fire Services Department remains the most highly regarded disciplined service, with a satisfaction index of 93.
Satisfaction levels with the Customs and Excise Department, the Immigration Department and the Correctional Services Department range from 60 to 76.
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