Date
23 March 2017
Netizens are debating this Facebook photo of a motorcycle cop who appears to be wearing a mainland policeman's helmet. Photo: Chiu C Ching/Facebook
Netizens are debating this Facebook photo of a motorcycle cop who appears to be wearing a mainland policeman's helmet. Photo: Chiu C Ching/Facebook

What’s wrong with this picture?

Was it photoshopped or was it made in China?

Netizens are debating the authencity of a photo which shows a motorcycle cop wearing a helmet with the words “jing cha” across the back.

Jing cha is the phonetic translation of “police” in putonghua, which would have been accurate, except that Chinese police are not allowed to operate in Hong Kong — and Hong Kong cops are not permitted to wear Chinese mainland police gear.

The restriction similarly applies to People’s Liberation Army troops who are confined to barracks except on certain official functions.

Some netizens suspect the photo is a dud, with the Chinese words photoshopped into the helmet, according to Apple Daily.

Others say the helmet could have been made in China and the police merely forgot to stick the English word on it.

Regardless, the controversy was enough to prompt a promise from a police spokesman to investigate, even assurances that the concerned officer will be punished if he broke regulations.

The photo was taken by a netizen named Chiu C Ching in North Lantau Island but there have been no reports of similar incidents.

Police uniforms have breastplates with only the word “police” and its Cantonese translation. Helmets are similarly marked.

The last time the officer was spotted, the offending sticker had been removed, according to Hong Kong Cable TV.

Or was it even there in the first place?

A certain Chiu C Ching would know.

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TL/AC/RA

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