A British academic hired by Hong Kong's Independent Police Complaints Council as an adviser has criticised its report, saying that it lacks key data and an independent inquiry is needed to settle public concern about the force's conduct.
The report, published on Friday, concluded that while there was “room for improvement” in how the police dealt with anti-government protests since last June, there are no systemic problems in the force.
Clifford Stott, a professor of social psychology at Britain's Keele University who has advised governments around the world on public order policing, told RTHK that the report "provides a good level of detail on the nature of events" but fell short of was unlikely to placate "genuine public concerns".
Stott was one of five international experts hired by the IPCC last year to advise on its report. The five stood down in December, saying the watchdog lacked the powers, capacity and independent investigative capability for its report to meet its goals.
"There are key pieces of data that are missing and it is unlikely that the report will placate genuine public concerns about the nature of police conduct during key moments in the evolution of the protest movement," Stott wrote.
"A genuinely independent inquiry with powers to demand evidence that would verify police claims is a basic requirement," he added.
"Only in this way will large sections of the Hong Kong public be sufficiently reassured and have confidence that the underlying data was sufficiently robust to support the conclusions reached"
An independent inquiry has long been one of the key demands of protesters in the SAR. The government has always rejected the idea.
Writing on Twitter, Stott specifically questioned the report's conclusion that public concern about the July 21 attacks in Yuen Long was a result of "misinformation".
"It would seem the release of the IPCC report is part of a wider set of coordinated announcements designed to deliver the new 'truth'," he tweeted, attaching a quote by George Orwell.
In response to comments by Chief Executive Carrie Lam, who said the government was seeking ways to prevent "lies" from spreading online and that the police's professionalism was beyond doubt, Stott tweeted, simply: "Speechless!"
Ex-adviser says IPCC's report 'lacks key data'
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