The Secretary for Security, John Lee, said on Wednesday that the police special tactical squad simply does not have enough room on their uniform to display their identification number.
His revelation came lawmakers grilled him over the force's alleged use of excessive force during last Wednesday’s clashes with protesters outside Legco.
A large amount of video footage has been shared online showing riot police using batons, pepper spray, tear gas, rubber bullets and bean-bag rounds against protesters and journalists.
Both Lee and Chief Executive Carrie Lam had said protesters and journalists can file complaints via a well-established mechanism. But critics have said it would be difficult to file complaints if one did not even know the identification number of officers.
At a Legco meeting on Wednesday, Lee said he was told by the police that their uniforms do not have enough room for that. He added uniform design is an internal matter for the police, adding the force will review the matter.
Civic Party lawmaker Jeremy Tam also some plain-clothes officers had refused to show their warrant card.
In response, Lee said he hoped people would be understanding when officers could not show their warrant cards under certain circumstances, but he did not elaborate. He added the force’s internal mechanism which handle complaints would treat all cases in a fair and just manner.
Meanwhile, pro-government lawmaker Elizabeth Quat said she was worried that police officers who were on duty at the protest area would now end up getting arrested.
Lee said officers who had tried to stop the protesters from charging at them were only performing their duties.
No room on police uniform to display ID: John Lee
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