Police beef up security for CY's next public event
Force on defensive after accusations it ignored triads in pro-government agitation and as it opens case on teacher who swore at officers
More than 300 police officers will watch over Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying's next meet-the-people session, to be held in Kwun Tong on Sunday, after scuffles marred the Tin Shui Wai event last weekend, a police source says.
The police plan to step up their presence at the designated protest zone outside Kwun Tong Kung Lok Government Secondary School, although the site is smaller than the one in Tin Shui Wai. The force will use body cameras and hand-held devices to record any demonstration.
"We will keep an eye on any suspected triad involvement," the source said yesterday. "The police will absolutely not tolerate any triad activities." The force's tactical unit, district anti-triad unit and district crime squad will all be mobilised to guard the area and to man observation posts.
Last Sunday, pro-government and pan-democratic groups clashed outside the meeting between Leung and Tin Shui Wai residents. Suspected triad members of the Tuen Mun faction of Sun Yee On and the Yuen Long faction of 14K were understood to have been called in to support the pro-government activists. Last night, a fourth suspected triad member, a man aged 19, was arrested on suspicion of assaulting an 18-year-old League of Social Democrats member during the event. Three other suspected triad members were arrested in connection with the same case on Monday.
It is believed some triad members received cash rewards after attending the pro-government rally. A police spokesman yesterday expressed "regret" over media reports accusing the force of turning a blind eye to triad involvement that day.
In Kwun Tong, Leung will be joined by health minister Dr Ko Wing-man and environment minister Wong Kam-sing.
The Tin Shui Wai event also sparked controversy over Leung's remarks, one of which concerned teacher Alpais Lam Wai-sze's verbal abuse of police officers handling a dispute between Falun Gong activists and their opponents on July 14.
Leung has ordered the Education Bureau to compile a report. Yesterday, Secretary for Education Eddie Ng Hak-kim said that according to the "existing mechanism", the Pui Ling School of the Precious Blood, where Lam worked, would write the report.
"The school's management and board of directors are expected to hold meetings to study how to best handle the case," Ng said. "They are going to file a report to the bureau. The report will offer an updated and holistic view of the whole incident."
Ng said the bureau's internal disciplinary committee would study the report before submitting recommendations to permanent secretary Cherry Tse Ling Kit-ching, who would make the final recommendation.
Meanwhile, Lam wrote in an internet posting that she was "scared" because the Mong Kok district crime squad was investigating a complaint about her behaviour. The complainant was a 59-year-old man, who said she could be guilty of disorderly behaviour in public and obstructing officers in executing their duties, according to the police.