Commissioner of Police Stephen Lo has ordered an investigation into the suicide of a 48-year-old rape and robbery suspect inside a custody cell on Thursday.
The suspect, surnamed Lam, used a computer LAN cable to hang himself at the Sau Mau Ping Police Station, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
Lo said the investigation will focus on how Lam got the LAN cable. Video footage will be reviewed to find any security loopholes.
Various media reports said Lam could have stolen the cable during police interrogation. However, all suspects must undergo a thorough body search before they are placed into a cell.
The police did not say whether any LAN cable was missing from the police station.
There were other reports that the fire alarm in the station went off at around 3 a.m. on Thursday. Firemen later found that a sprinkler head inside a jail cell was damaged and a suspect had to be relocated to another cell.
Lawmaker James To, vice chairman of the Legislative Council’s security panel, said the incident was shocking and unimaginable.
To said all suspects in custody are supposed to be closely monitored and that custody cells are carefully designed to prevent suspects from committing suicide.
Hong Kong Police Inspectors’ Association chairman Jimes Lee said it was strange that the suspect was able to kill himself with a piece of LAN cable.
The design of the cell would make it difficult for someone trying to hang himself, he said.
Lee said police officers typically conduct regular patrols of all cells every 25 minutes.
Activist Ray Wong, who stayed in similar cells during previous arrests, said all personal belongings of a suspect are retained by the police.
Wong suspected that the police did not confiscate Lam’s personal items on the assumption that rapists would not commit suicide.
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