Police took wrong approach

AFTER last Wednesday's armed robbery of a jewellery shop in Swire House, Central, police conducted sweeps of nearby buildings. However, in the midst of terrorised commuters, shoppers and curious crowds, the police were not doing much to calm anyone down.

After shots were fired and after the chase through the MTR concourse, it was believed that the robbers had disappeared into the crowd. Therefore, it was right that officers should be vigilant and search the area, but was it really necessary to generate more fear amongst passers-by? I was in Central Building, at a doctor's clinic, between 3 and 3.30pm, when the robbery took place and the robbers fired their guns.

While I was waiting, patients who tried to leave came back and told us about the robbery and that all exits of the building had been blocked.

All the elevators were stopped so that no one could leave. At around 4.30pm, one of the elevators started up.

As I wanted to get back to my office in Alexandra House, I took the elevator by myself, thinking that they had finished with the search.

When the elevator door opened, I was greeted by at least 20 police officers, all with their guns pointing at me.


For a second, I thought there was someone else in the elevator (the robbers?), but then I realised their target was me.

All I could hear was shouting and screaming as I was told to put my hands up and not to move.

Other police officers were telling me to put my bag down. The least I could say is that they were not very friendly, nor reassuring.

While they took down my identity card number and checked my bag, the guns were still pointed at me. I saw there were other police officers in different parts of the area, ready to shoot at any sight of the robbers. They were shouting as if I was the robber and was going to take a gun out of my bag to shoot them.


They really thought that if I was one of the robbers or their alibi, I would walk out of the lobby of Central Building so nonchalantly, knowing that they were doing a search? I can understand that the police officers have to do their job and undertake a thorough search, but they could at least be more polite to people and not treat every single person they see as one of the robbers. Especially, since this was already more than an hour after the incident.

Here was a situation where police officers should have been trying to calm people down in a situation where there was a great deal of chaos and yet, on the contrary, they were generating more fear.