Hong Kong’s police chief is defending a planned purchase of water cannons, saying it is unrelated to last year’s democracy protests.
Police Commissioner Andy Tsang said his department’s equipment purchases are not made for any specific purposes but are part of its normal procurement program, Ming Pao Daily reported Wednesday.
Tsang was replying to a question during a Lunar New Year reception by the Junior Police Officers Association.
A reporter wanted to know if the proposed allocation for water cannons was in response to the street sit-ins last year when Tsang’s department was heavily criticised for ordering the use of tear gas and pepper spray on protesters.
Tsang said water cannons have less impact than batons and pepper spray during crowd dispersals.
The water cannons are part of a HK$27 million (US$3.48 million) procurement plan that includes three riot vehicles, the report said.
Tsang is also asking for an additional 600 officers.
Meanwhile, the police are continuing their investigations into the protests and expect to submit a report to the Justice Department any time soon.
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