The police said on Monday that officers using the word "cockroach" to refer to anti-government protesters could be regarded as a term of endearment.
Speaking on RTHK’s “Hong Kong Connection”, community relations officer Tam Yu-hei said while some may see the cockroach reference in a bad light, people should not “over-interpret” the term. He said people should look at it positively, as the insect is full of vitality.
Tam said he believes his colleagues are very professional and all officers have vowed not to be hostile towards anyone.
He also noted that more than 3,000 officers have been doxxed since the anti-government protests erupted in June, adding that it is very frustrating that people have targeted officers' families to express their discontent with the force.
He said he does not agree with officers who refuse to show their warrant cards, as this makes it difficult for people to file complaints.
Tam said he looked forward to hearing people's feedback regarding his comments on the show.
An anonymous police officer, meanwhile, told the programme that many of his frontline colleagues have been “out of control” while handling the protests.
He said the Yuen Long attacks on July 21 ignited people’s anger with the police, and said the force's refusal to admit any mistakes further exacerbates society’s distrust in the police.
The officer said some of his colleagues are also unhappy with management, and he hopes the government will be courageous enough to launch an independent probe into the unrest.
The Hong Kong Connection episode, in Cantonese, was aired at 8pm on Monday night on RTHK31.