Police Commissioner Dick Lee Ming-kwai has vowed to strengthen communication with the media during future operations, to minimise possible conflict. Mr Lee met four journalists' groups yesterday in the wake of the clashes outside Central Government Offices last Friday, when police removed 80 protesters and some journalists. The police chief - who earlier asked the journalists to also conduct a review of their actions in such circumstances - said the force fully respected press freedom. 'What we discussed during the meeting is aiming at future co-operation, in particular the collaboration between frontline police officers and frontline reporters,' Mr Lee said. The police agreed they would only cordon off areas at an incident when necessary, and the commander would consider reporters' views. If there were differences in opinion, a channel for reaching an agreement would be established with the Police Public Relations Branch's help. 'We hope that through communication, possible conflicts can be reduced to a minimum,' he said. Hong Kong Journalists' Association spokeswoman Mak Yin-ting hoped the meeting marked the start of some improvement. Police removed a photographer and two media representatives in last Friday's operation, while another photographer was allegedly slapped by an officer. An Apple Daily photographer, who was one of the two carried away, has lodged a complaint with the police. Meanwhile, Central District Commander Chief Superintendent Lee Wai-lam told a special Legislative Council security panel meeting that the officers had repeatedly asked reporters to move into a designated press area before the removal operation. But Ms Mak said reporters claimed there was no such area and requests for them to leave amounted to asking them to stop reporting. Chief Superintendent Lee admitted that no signs were put up for the press area, but he said more than 30 of the 50 journalists complied with the order. He said they had sufficient evidence to prove some protesters incited journalists to join their rally and a few 'stubborn' reporters stayed behind, forcing officers to remove all participants with minimum force.