Violent protests undermine law

July 15, 2019

The Police said today violent protests seriously undermine the rule of law and they definitely stand at the forefront to maintain public safety and order.


In a statement, the Police noted officers facilitated the participants in expressing their views during the public procession in Sha Tin yesterday afternoon. However, upon arrival at Yuen Wo Road, participants refused to follow the pre-agreed route and started blocking the roads in the vicinity of Sha Tin Rural Committee Road and Yuen Wo Road.


Afterwards, a large group of people unlawfully assembled along Sha Tin Rural Committee Road, Yuen Wo Road and Wang Pok Street.


Equipment including helmets and goggles was distributed premeditatedly among protesters in a short period of time. Some protesters pried up bricks from pavements, stocked up on a considerable number of iron poles and other offensive weapons, demolished the railings nearby, and blocked the roads using railings and other miscellaneous objects.


Meanwhile, a group of violent protesters deliberately attacked Police officers and charged Police cordon lines with different materials including traffic cones and an unknown powder.


At 7.50pm, in order to swiftly prevent the situation from deteriorating, the Police repeatedly urged the protesters to leave as soon as possible. People who were not involved in the protest were also advised to pay attention to their personal safety and not to take part in any illegal act.


At around 8.30pm, the Police further warned the protesters to leave immediately or force would be used.


The Police dispersal action at around 9pm followed, intending to make the protesters leave in the direction of Sha Tin Station as soon as possible.


After most of the protesters had left, some violent protesters hurled bricks, umbrellas and helmets at the Police on shopping arcade platforms near Wang Pok Street and its vicinity, posing serious threats to the safety of Police officers and members of the public. Police officers entered the arcades and their platforms to stop their violent behaviour.


While officers entered the arcades, they were repeatedly and actively attacked by protesters and miscellaneous objects were continuously thrown from height. Police thus deployed appropriate force to arrest violent protesters.


The dispersal action concluded at around 12am today.


During the operation, 47 people were arrested for offences including unlawful assembly, assaulting police officers, obstructing police officers and possession of offensive weapon.


Among the 13 police officers sent to hospital for treatment, five remain admitted.


The statement noted that the aim of Police enforcement is to maintain law and order and uphold the rule of law.


The force will conduct active investigations into the recent violent acts and take enforcement action to bring those responsible to justice, it concluded.

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