Police Force is Hong Kong’s pride and must live up to image
I refer to your report on the number of our police officers arrested this year (“Concern raised as 26 Hong Kong police officers arrested in 2018 so far”, June 15). It said the ranks of the offending officers ranged from constable to superintendent, and the alleged offences included shoplifting, indecent assault on underage girls, stealing money from a suspected prostitute, attempted burglary, and replacing cash evidence with fake banknotes.
I admire the Hong Kong police. Our force is distinctive, and has walked with Hong Kong through all its ups and downs, right from the colonial days.
Also, I am personally grateful to our policemen. When I can’t find my way in the streets, they direct me; when I lose my purse on public transport, they locate it for me; when I am tempted to rush across the streets, they keep me in check; when I have domestic problems, they are there to help.
Therefore, it is deplorable that the conduct of a minority of the force is so appalling. We ordinary people have high expectations of the professionalism of police officers: it’s because they are the chief disciplinary force in Hong Kong. The image they project is important.
What really upsets me is that the relationship between the police and the locals has deteriorated a lot since the days of the Occupy Central movement. The police has been identified with all the public misgivings about the Hong Kong administration ever since.
Watch: Seven Hong Kong police guilty of beating Occupy activist
Apparently much has been done in the last few years to improve the situation. According to the recently retired assistant police commissioner, Steve Hui Chun-tak, the force has regained the public confidence shattered since 2014. That is good news indeed.
I believe that a prosperous and stable city like Hong Kong must be matched by a high-quality police force that earns the respect of its residents. Can we be proud of the one we have today?
Jacqueline Kwan, Mid-Levels