The police said on Monday that they were aware of instances where officers had been engaged in shouting matches with protesters during a massive rally on Sunday and admitted there is “room for improvement” in their use of language.
But at a regular police press conference, senior superintendent Kong Wing-cheung said while the police could be more polite, it is important to note that protesters had also been hurling abuse at officers.
It takes two to tango, he said, urging both sides to treat each other with respect.
When asked about allegations that officers had homophobically abused the convenor of the Civil Human Rights Front, Jimmy Sham, Kong said while he had not seen any footage to confirm Sham’s claim, it is definitely “not ideal” for officers to make insulting or derogatory remarks.
Police chief superintendent Kwok Ka-chuen, meanwhile, said the force will try to restore ties and boost the public’s trust in the force once order is restored in society.
The officials said police are willing to accept rational and constructive criticism, and pledged to rebuild the relationship between officers and the public once peace and calm has been restored in Hong Kong.
In the six months from June 6, a total of 6,022 people have been arrested in relation with the protests, police said. Among the arrested, 956 people have been charged with various crimes.
At the briefing, the officials also unleashed a barrage of criticism of teachers who police say are driving students to join the anti-government protests.
This came as they announced the detention of 12 people who were suspected of creating road blocks in Sheung Shui on Monday morning.
The official said six of the detained suspects were students and one of them was a teacher.
At the briefing, police also said that one of their officers was stopped at the airport on Sunday after security there discovered a baton in his bag.
Kwok said though it was not a violation of any laws, it was a careless mistake.
The officer was reprimanded by a superior officer, who took custody of the weapon at the airport.
Despite the confiscation, police said possessing a restricted item is not a breach of aviation rules if there is a reasonable explanation.
Our language can be better, protesters' too: police
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