Hong Kong's police force deserves public image prize: commissioner

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 08 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 08 September, 2013, 3:50am

The police chief yesterday defended the force being named as runner-up for best public image in the government's biennial civil service awards.

Despite a string of controversies that have thrown up questions about police impartiality, Commissioner Andy Tsang Wai-hung said of the prize: "If you look at the city's public order, such recognition is a matter of course."

He cited two recent reports, by the World Economic Forum and the World Justice Project, which showed Hong Kong ranked highly for "order and security" and "reliability of police services".

He hinted that he believed media criticism of the police could be prejudicial. "I do not wear coloured glasses today, so I see green is green, red is red. But for you [journalists] who wear sunglasses, you may not see the same colour as I do," he said.

The awarding of the prize followed last week's unusual endorsement of the work of the disciplined services, including the police, by National People's Congress chairman Zhang Dejiang .

Icarus Wong Ho-yin, of the Civil Human Rights Front, criticised Tsang's attitude to media scrutiny. "It sounds like he only wants to see positive coverage," he said. "The Hong Kong Police Force is one of the most sophisticated in the world and that is why we fear it becoming a political tool for the government."