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  • Dec 18, 2014
  • Updated: 2:01pm
Occupy Central
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SECURITY

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.

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This article is now closed to comments

andrewscarter
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
mh0908
May Peace Prevail on Earth. May Peace Prevail in Hong Kong.
caractacus
Sadly, it probably won't be that way.
Hong Kong is now a corrupt, fascist state like the PRC.
michaelhctam@gmail.com
I think we all know that this protest will eventually turn violent. Hope you marked a sick day from your work schedule, stay at home, make some popcorn, pop open a nice cold beer and watch the beatings on TV.
It'll be glorious, harmonious and watching the smirk being beaten away by the Police will ensure that you will have fond memories for years to come!
caractacus
The stupid reaction of the government, assisted by the destructive efforts of the PRC hacking unit, has magnified the reaction of the people who obviously now realise the truth that the HK political system is rotten and corrupt to the core.
How independent will the DoJ and Police prove to be? Will they show integrity or demonstrate that the law is now simply a convenience to be ignored when it suits them?
whymak
Why does a hate-filled non-Chinese speaking expat still want in this city of corrupted government and among inferior yellow people who might bring harm to your family?
norodnik
Round up the usual suspects....they could take a page out of Auguste Pinoche's book and use football stadiums as concentration camps...all this scare mongering a.k.a. preparedness is looking more and more like a fascist coup in the making.
req
A lot of people thrive on less. These are ideals put into your mind. Go to india, theres still massive illiteracy, lack of infrastructure and education.
The west isn't doing so well since China nicked all their manufacturing jobs.
Maybe its time you became responsible for the good of the country rather than yourself.
Paradox314
req, I deeply appreciate the quality of your reply to my comment.
.
I agree that I can do a lot more to truly uphold the values that I espouse than I presently do. Thank you for the challenge :-)
.
There is a tension between the 'rights of individuals' and the 'good of the community / country'. The 'Good' is located within this tension, and tilting the equation toward either extreme at the expense of it's opposite results in a problematic situation.
.
If the rights of the individual are overemphasized (as has happened in the 'West'), then the good of the community suffers, as does the necessary relationality of a healthy society. If you overemphasize the good of the community at the expense of the rights of individuals (totalitarian communism - i.e. China) then the health of individuals and their capacity to contribute meaningfully and creatively to the community is damaged. In the latter case, the relationality necessary for a healthy community is also severely damaged.
req
Heh, I don't always use crude terms, only for those who pose no arguments and try to bully people into silence.
I feel that if there was another invader, maybe not imperialist japan but say, some zombie infestation or alien invasion, its necessary for people to forget their differences and work together. I realize that as individuals you want to stand out and be represented, but sometimes we have a collective responsibility and to accept limitations as necessary.
China has made some exceptional accomplishments whilst reducing the rights of the individual but it is a necessity. We can't all have the consumption and waste of those from the west but we've done a pretty good job. Without rules like the one child policy and containing negative media China could descend into anarchy. If every individual in China lived as well as the average HK individual we'd have a major mess. That's why I believe people should work with the system. Without control, it would be like a cancer that kills the entire system.

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