• Tue
  • Sep 23, 2014
  • Updated: 12:38pm
Occupy Central
NewsHong Kong

Hong Kong police to stage ‘major exercise’ in preparation for Occupy Central

Crack units to take part in 'major exercise' at Police College to prepare for any disruption caused by civil disobedience movement

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 24 June, 2014, 2:49pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 25 June, 2014, 3:41pm

Hong Kong police will carry out what sources have described as a "major exercise" today to prepare for possible chaos caused by Occupy Central.

Force insiders also told the South China Morning Post that extensive upgrades had been made and extra equipment introduced at the Police College in Aberdeen to ensure it could cope with any eventuality.

"Numerous" platoons from the Police Tactical Unit and a large number of other formations will take part in the Aberdeen exercise.

It is understood all parking for students and trainees at the college has been suspended to facilitate the exercise, which is due to last most of today.

Meanwhile, some 4,000 officers will be deployed to maintain order during the annual July 1 march, as part of their preparations for Occupy Central.

Watch: Hong Kong police stage ‘major exercise’ in preparation for Occupy Central

The Police College will be turned into a temporary detention centre for the first time during the operation, according to police sources.

The move is understood to have been given the green light after police sought approval from the Department of Justice.

But one source said the college - which is situated next to Ocean Park - would only be used to detain marchers in the event of mass arrests. Otherwise they would be held at police stations.

"The Police College has been chosen because it is our own facility with catering services and proper security measures are in place," the source said.

It is estimated the training school could accommodate more than 3,000 detainees.

"Detainees might be kept in an indoor training compound where they [would be] separated by barricades and guarded by our officers," the source said.

He said police would deploy about 4,000 officers from the Police Tactical Unit, traffic divisions, patrol sub-units and emergency units along with auxiliary police officers.

It is understood that the number will not include any officers from the crime squad or the force's intelligence unit.

The Civil Human Rights Front will hold a protest on July 1 to argue for universal suffrage. Supporters will march from Victoria Park in Causeway Bay to the Chater Road pedestrian precinct in Central. Organisers expect 100,000 people to take part.

Another police source said the operation was necessary in the event that radical activists refused to leave after the gathering in Chater Road and went on to cause disruption in Central.

"Swift action will be taken if protest groups try to paralyse traffic, occupy infrastructure facilities and block emergency access," the source said.

The source added that July 1 would be considered as preparation for a massive operation to handle Occupy Central, codenamed Solarpeak. "But the Solarpeak operation will involve other agencies such as the Security Bureau," the source added.

Occupy Central will give the government time to respond to the results of an unofficial referendum on universal suffrage before deciding whether to blockade streets in a campaign of civil disobedience.

By 5pm yesterday, 734,737 people had cast votes to pick their preferred proposal from a shortlist of three reform plans, all of which want the public to be able to nominate candidates for the 2017 election of chief executive.


Related topics

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive



This article is now closed to comments

Look at that bread--I mean, 'voting' line. These people look like their dressed to go grocery shopping! Hmmm, I wonder what they are looking for, a coupon for Wellcome? A 10% discount at Cafe De Coral? Or perhaps a $100 cash back voucher for HSBC? Wow, I never knew voting was like looking at a Coupon catalouge! So fun! We should do this more often!
syn, we simply can't have everyone living their lives like the average American. It is not happening so we're limiting freedom for the poor. Now you might want to think that is nasty, but China has suffered under the age of colonization. We thought things were going to improve and the Japanese invaded. The people will have to bear this burden collectively. If you want to impose pure communist ideals it won't motivate anybody to work.
paradox314, China is going an exceptional job in providing education, sanitation, infrastructure, all the stuff that keeps people healthy and living rewarding lives. If you compare say, literacy on the CIA world factbook China is about 90% for male and female. For india its 70% for male and 40% for female. For a country that wasn't devastated by war and living a democracy since 1947 its not doing too well.
That's why I think people should work with the system. Many of these HKers have pretty good education and there are opportunities up there. China hasn't fully developed its service sector, we need inspirational people to do positive work, not demand an exclusive environment. If you don't work with market forces you won't justify your existence. The advantage of HK as a gateway to China is now gone, we got to work on developing new industries.
One more note. We're in a scary world now. the population of Europe and China has flattened off but places like India, Indonesia and Africa are still undergoing exponential growth.
Who will you blame if serious crimes happen when the majority of police force are deployed to keep the order in the event of Occupy Central?
Police again? or the politician? or the government?
If Hong Kong is not stable, thief, robbery and murder become common, will you still calling for democracy?
Do you hate the present peaceful life so much?
I really hope CY is the last CCP-appointed chief. HK can't go through this anymore.
Definitely have the option to send HK citizens to Reform Through Labour centers. Maybe it'll spur manufacturing in the city again!
Yes, let us start with you.
I hope they use a lot of rubber bullets. Heard some stories about what these do to people in Ireland and Israel. Non-lethal of course.
No, they are not non-lethal. They kill.
Yeah, if not used properly.
I no longer live in HK and looking at this from overseas is like watching a goldfish bowl. People have become so self-obsessed and deluded, that they have lost all sense of perspective. Have you not seen the TV coverage of Cairo? Baghdad? Kiev? Benghazi? Hong Kong gives you so much, and you want to blow it all away on a moment of madness? Do you really think that this dissent is entirely home-grown and swelling up from the grass roots? 90% of Hong Kong did NOT just vote in a vainglorious "referendum"; there was NO democracy before 1997 - quite the opposite. There is no tyrannical oppression by the PRC - and if some of you cared to look, many of the L0custs (oops, didn't realise I couldnt say that!) living the other side of Lok Ma Chau have it just as good as you do - there is no shame in being Chinese, and the West certainly never treated you or your ancestors as anything remotely close to equals. Be proud of who you are, what you are, and don't fall for the "Western Values" nonsense - the West has no Values, just Prices
Be grateful for what you have - Hong Kong is a unique and very special place, with a unique culture - don't trash it, and don't allow yourselves to be manipulated by those who almost certainly do not have YOUR best interests at heart




SCMP.com Account