Police explain MK action

July 8, 2019

The Police today said it decided to disperse a group of protesters in Mong Kok last night after considering the safety risk at the scene.


In a statement tonight, the Police said the dispersal action was aimed to restore public safety and order as soon as possible and to minimise the inconvenience caused by the road blockage.


After a public event concluded peacefully and orderly outside West Kowloon Station at about 5.30pm yesterday, some protesters started to block Canton Road and proceeded along Nathan Road northbound towards Mong Kok.


The Police exercised restraint and let protesters express their views without impeding their actions.


However, when the protesters were near Mong Kok, some of them started to occupy all the lanes of Nathan Road, completely blocking the most important thoroughfare in Kowloon.


At around 9pm, the Police set up cordon lines at the junction of Nathan Road and Argyle Street. Despite repeated warnings, some protesters refused to leave and acted violently.


Officers decided to take dispersal action when they noticed that the heavy crowd flow in the area, coupled with lots of narrow lanes, increased the safety risk at the scene.


The statement added that a few Legislative Council members frequently stood before its cordon lines in recent operations.


This not only seriously obstructed police officers in performing their duties but also caused danger to the safety of the lawmakers as well as officers, reporters and protesters.


The Police said it is willing to explain its work to them at an appropriate time, but this must be carried out without affecting police operations and their effectiveness.


It is impossible for the Police to suspend law enforcement operations, such as when a dispersal operation is taking place, to explain their work to legislators.


The statement pointed out that the Police respect press freedom and understand the media’s need to film its dispersal action.


It will deploy media liaison cadre members to facilitate reporting under the condition that the operation's effectiveness will not be compromised.


The Police also appealed to media workers to put their safety first when covering public events or large-scale demonstrations.


They should avoid keeping “zero distance” with Police’s cordon lines when dispersal actions are conducted.


The force appealed to the public not to obstruct its operations, or they might be liable to the offence of obstructing police officers.

Back to top