Hong Kong police

Hong Kong police hunt part-time officer over ‘extremely outrageous’ and ‘insulting’ back-to-front wearing of hat

Photo taken in police station car park, with officer facing away from camera, has attracted hundreds of comments on Facebook and chat groups

PUBLISHED : Monday, 08 October, 2018, 8:11pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 09 October, 2018, 2:09pm

Hong Kong police are hunting a uniformed officer who was seen in an online photograph wearing his hat back to front, an act the enraged management found “extremely outrageous”, “insulting” and “disgraceful”.

The photo was taken in a police station car park, with the officer facing away from the camera. The cap badge can be seen at the back of his head but his identification number on the epaulettes is not visible.

The officer was in Hung Hom police station car park at the time, the Post was told.

Chief Superintendent Alice Lee Nga-lai, Kowloon City district commander, said in an internal circular on Sunday that an initial investigation indicated the officer was an on-duty part-time officer.

“This is extremely outrageous and entirely insulting and disgraceful” to the Hong Kong Police Force and Auxiliary Police, Lee said in the circular.

As Lee was on sick leave, she ordered the deputy district commander to start an immediate disciplinary review to search for the officer, with results within the week.

“This officer must be defaulted within this week,” she said.

Lee said the organisation had no room for those who did not care about the feelings of diligent officers who worked hard to build a positive police force image and reputation to earn public support and confidence.

Police ops chief plays down furore over ‘not always the good guys’ remark

She also told all officers to stop circulating the photo and immediately delete it if they received it.

The photo attracted hundreds of comments on Facebook and chat groups.

Lee later supplemented her circular, saying the relevant disciplinary review had started, and she wished “to find out the truth immediately so that no one would be wrongly accused”.

She said any officer breaching discipline would be processed and treated equally.

“I am sure this is an isolated incident and am willing to listen to anyone’s explanations on their statements. This will subsequently be treated as mitigating factor(s),” she said.

Has generation snowflake infiltrated Hong Kong’s police force?

Describing the act as “unacceptable”, a police source said it was unlikely the officer involved would be interdicted from duty – that is, no longer permitted to discharge his constabulary duties – or dismissed. He believed a warning would be issued if the officer was identified.

The source added that the force would also find out who took the photo.

On Monday, a police spokesman said that there were strict rules on the wearing of uniforms, and that the force was trying to find out the details of the incident and would take appropriate follow-up action.