Hong Kong police

Asleep at the wheel: Hong Kong police officers caught napping outside city school face discipline after photograph goes viral

  • Veteran pair seen asleep in patrol car near TWGHs Ko Ho Ning Memorial Primary School
  • Senior officers recall duo to station after fuming over social media reaction
PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 30 October, 2018, 5:41pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 30 October, 2018, 9:49pm

Tired drivers are often told to pull over to take a rest by police and two veteran Hong Kong officers followed that advice to the letter on Tuesday morning – when they fell asleep in their patrol car outside a city school.

The dozy duo were caught napping in Kwai Chung by members of the public, who quickly took pictures of two of Hong Kong’s finest asleep on the job.

To make matters worse, a police source confirmed the pair were part of the morning shift, so had only just started work.

Pictures show one officer, who is wearing sunglasses, asleep in the driver’s seat, with his partner soundly sleeping next to him. The car’s licence plate is also clearly visible.

Needless to say the images, which one user said had been taken near to TWGHs Ko Ho Ning Memorial Primary School in Lai Yiu Estate, went viral on social media.

Netizens expressed mock concern for the constables, with one asking: “Do you think they have passed out? Maybe we should call for an ambulance?”

While the incident was largely taken in fun by the public, the two officers are likely to face a less friendly reception from their bosses.

Hong Kong police chief vows zero tolerance for misconduct in force

The source said senior officers were furious, and the pair had been summoned back to the station when the pictures went viral.

“Since the pictures were exposed online, we have immediately called the duo back to the station for questions,” the source said. “No doubt they will face disciplinary action, and risk a written warning for dismissal as their conduct has brought disgrace to the force.”

According to the source the pair were assigned to patrol the Kwai Chung district. The senior constable, who was in the passenger’s seat, had served in the force for more than 25 years, while his partner was an 11-year veteran.

Hong Kong Police Force has been particularly touchy about its public image recently, after a series of gaffes involving some of its 30,000 officers.

Only 10 days ago, an officer on patrol in uniform was seen playing a game on his mobile phone while waiting at a traffic light, behaviour that also prompted a disciplinary review.

And earlier this month a uniformed officer was photographed wearing his hat back to front in Hung Hom police station car park, an act that enraged management.

In that image, which also went viral, the officer is facing away from the camera, and while the cap badge can be seen, his identification number on his epaulettes is not visible.