Police under fire for delay in disclosing choppings

PUBLISHED : Monday, 10 October, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 10 October, 2011, 12:00am


Police have been criticised for taking six days to warn the public about a series of chopping attacks in Tseung Kwan O last week.

Four men were attacked in separate incidents on the night of October 2-3, yet officers only released details at a briefing yesterday after newspaper reports of the incidents.

The victims, aged 18 to 56, suffered cuts to their arms and backs and were sent to Tseung Kwan O Hospital. All except the 18-year-old have been discharged. Kwun Tong district crime squad is hunting a man of medium build aged 25 to 35, police say.

Chief Inspector Kam She-ming said the victims were chopped from behind with a 30cm-long knife.

Sai Kung district councillor Chan Kai-wai said yesterday: 'Rumours regarding the attacks have been circulating in online forums and among residents in the neighbourhood for a week, but we got no information from the police. Residents are worried as the victims seemed to have been attacked for no reason.'

A spokeswoman for the Journalists' Association said the police had put public safety at risk. 'The police are obliged to let the public know about the cases because the cases obviously involved public interest.'

The association said it would write the police public relations branch.

When asked why the police had not alerted the public, Kam said a reply would be given later. He said police had strengthened patrols, combining uniformed and plainclothes officers in a special operation to track down the attacker.