A police divisional commander has said he will tighten public safety measures during pig hunts after complaints about an armed hunt near the New Territories village of Uk Tau. Residents were alarmed and frightened when five men in camouflage gear armed with shotguns emerged from an unmarked yellow van in the car park beside their houses on Friday. 'In this case it is clear the police [pig-hunt co-ordinating] officer had not taken into account safety controls,' said Chief Inspector Mark Johnson, divisional commander Sai Kung, who confirmed the pig shoot in Ha Yeung, near Uk Tau on Friday afternoon. 'I am concerned and am taking this very seriously.' After alighting from their van the pig-hunting party and their two dogs headed for land between the hamlet and another known as Brookside. No shots were heard. They were seen again on trails around the villages. One resident phoned police in Sai Kung, who confirmed it was an approved wild pig hunt. 'We had seen a boar around the village but it was no problem, the hunters were,' said Uk Tau resident Christine Keeling. 'This is outrageous,' said neighbour Stacy Tucker. 'I have a 16-month-old son and they shouldn't be shooting so close to the houses.' No posters or public warnings had been put up, and driving an unmarked van made the marksmen look highly suspect, she said. 'Not only were the hunters down on the path where we walk with our children and dogs, but it was the first day of Trailwalker and there were thousands of people in the country park,' Mrs Tucker said. Part of the Trailwalker course goes over the top of the hill above Uk Tau, she said. 'It's hardly the time or place to have a big-game hunt.' Chief Inspector Johnson said: 'From my record, no pigs were shot.' He said this was one of Hong Kong's two hunting teams, made up of civilians approved and licenced by police and the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department. There should have been four civilian hunters and a passive police observer, he said. The expedition was organised by the police pig-hunt co-ordinating officer after receiving a complaint about pig damage to property. In this case he believed a pig had been eating a villager's choi sum. The chief inspector said warning notices did not normally go up because hunting should not take place near housing. He would review safety measures and phone the concerned residents. 'Police duty is to protect people more than choi sum.' The SPCA said it strongly disapproved of the hunts. 'We don't believe in shooting on the grounds that a cabbage has been eaten by a pig. Removing one pig won't help the problem - another will take its place.'