Exclusive Interview: Police will ensure protests are not hijacked by violent disruptors, says Raymond Siu
Raymond Siu, Commissioner of Police of Hong Kong, said Wednesday (May 24) the police force will undertake rigorous evaluations before approving applications for protests, and vowed it will continue to play the role of gatekeeper well.
In an exclusive interview with DotDotNews, Siu said that certain individuals had recently attempted to incite others to "protest" through "soft confrontation," and he further stated that his police will take decisive law enforcement action.
He told DotDotNews, "Society is calm now, but there are still lurking dangers."
Siu said that prior to violent protestors hijacking rallies in 2019, the force used to approve almost all requests for gatherings.
Before granting an application, the police commissioner said his officers now carefully examine intelligence and evaluate whether someone plans to hijack a gathering, risking national security or the safety of society.
Siu said the force will assess each application on an individual basis in order to determine whether there should be any restrictions on the number of participants or other aspects of future demonstrations.
The police chief added that after much effort, the relationship between the force and the public has greatly improved. He said that the police have been combating false information and fake news while also informing the public about their methods.
A 24/7 fact-checking and clarifying center had been set up to monitor the media and online material, he claimed, and the Police Public Relations Branch had been upgraded to the Public Relations Wing in order to increase connection with the general public. He emphasized that cops will provide clarification within two hours if inaccuracies are discovered.
In order to convey and spread awareness of crime prevention among children, Siu also emphasized the necessity of working with young people. He added that officers frequently meet with school administrators and parent-teacher organizations throughout Hong Kong.