Date
23 June 2018
Pro-democracy lawmakers accused the Security Bureau of resorting to evasive tactics after the agency was called upon to explain a police chase operation that went awry. Photos: Bloomberg, YouTube
Pro-democracy lawmakers accused the Security Bureau of resorting to evasive tactics after the agency was called upon to explain a police chase operation that went awry. Photos: Bloomberg, YouTube

Security Bureau urged to explain Feb police car chase incident

Opposition lawmakers accused the Security Bureau of trying to sidestep queries over a police car chase incident last month that resulted in the death of two people and five others getting injured. 

It is unfortunate that the Security Bureau, rather than provide an explanation for the botched police chase, is trying to shift the onus to the Transport and Housing Bureau, pan-democrats said.

As the incident involved the police, it is definitely a matter that concerns the Security Bureau, they said, slamming the government agency of being evasive in its approach over the matter.  

The criticism came after the Security Bureau, responding to a query from a Legislative Council panel, said road safety policies and related law enforcement are within scope of the work of Transport and Housing Bureau, and that any questions related to a February highway incident be addressed to that agency.

The reference was to an incident that took place on Feb. 11, when a 7-seater van running at high speed on a Kowloon-bound lane of Fanling Highway was chased by a motorcycle-borne traffic policeman.

It is believed that the van’s driver was trying to avoid a police check, leading to the chase.

The van wound up crashing into several water-filled barriers on the roadside before hitting three other vehicles near Kau Lung Hang, with the van turning turtle as a result.

The van’s driver was confirmed dead on the spot by paramedics, while the lone passenger in it died later in a hospital. Five people suffered injuries as their vehicles were hit by the van as it tried to get away from the pursuing policeman.

A traffic police officer was also injured in the incident.

The incident sparked criticism as it came to light that the policeman who performed the chase had once outrun the van and told other vehicles on the road to try and block the speeding van.

Police came under fire, accused of trying to use vehicles carrying innocent civilians as roadblock.

In a meeting held by the Legco’s Panel on Security on Tuesday, Democratic Party lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting demanded that authorities concerned provide explanations to the panel about the accident as soon as possible, saying human lives do matter, hk01.com reports.

Lawmaker Claudia Mo Man-ching from HK First said the incident involved a police decision, so it is definitely something that concerns the Security Bureau.

Demanding a special meeting on the accident be held as soon as possible, lawmaker James To Kun-sun, who is from the Democratic Party, pointed out that former police commissioner Tang King-shing had apologized for a similar police car chase incident in Kwun Tong in 2009.

Gary Chan Hak-kan, who chairs the panel, promised to get a written reply from the Security Bureau, but a number of pan-democratic lawmakers said more needs to be done.

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TL/JC/RC

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