The city’s new police commissioner Chris Tang says while some segments of society may condone illegal activities carried out over recent months, they should at least understand that the force has a responsibility to maintain law and order.
Speaking to the press after being sworn in as Hong Kong’s new police chief, Tang said he should be excited to take up the new role but because of the ongoing unrest, he feels sorrow.
Reporters asked him about the force’s handling of the nearly six months of anti-government protests, allegations of police brutality and its reputation among the general public.
Tang said there’s a "massive scale of breaking of law in Hong Kong, and there’s a certain sector of society that also condones those illegal activities."
But he pointed out that the police have to enforce the law, and maintain law and order.
The commissioner said he will continue to protect and support his colleagues in their law enforcement work.
Tang also said they need to rebut “fake news” that undermines the credibility of the force.
“So what we are trying to do, first of all, for any false accusation, we have to rebut that false accusation and we have to let the community know that the purpose of our action is only to maintain law and order so that to dispel any misunderstanding about police action,” he said.
On whether, he supports the setting up of an independent inquiry into events surrounding the ongoing protests, Tang said he believes the current Independent Police Complaints Council is best suited for that job.
Tang, a veteran officer with more than 30 years’ service and a former deputy commissioner, replaced Stephen Lo, who began his pre-retirement leave on Tuesday. Lo had served as commissioner since 2015.