Promotional videos can't rescue HK police: analyst - RTHK
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Promotional videos can't rescue HK police: analyst

2021-01-15 HKT 15:26
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  • The police's latest promotional video features some 600 active officers from 15 units fighting terrorists. Photo courtesy of HKPF
    The police's latest promotional video features some 600 active officers from 15 units fighting terrorists. Photo courtesy of HKPF
Timmy Sung reports
A political analyst and members of the public warned on Friday that the police are wasting their time producing promotional videos to try to convince people of their professionalism, saying the force's reputation is already in tatters.

The trailer for a short film titled "Safeguard Our City" has been released on the police's Facebook page ahead of the movie being aired on TVB on January 23.

In the film, deputy police commissioner Raymond Siu joins around 600 active officers from various units to fight terrorists in the city.

A force spokesman told RTHK that they started planning the promotional video in August last year and the film is aimed at showcasing the professional side of officers, amid "unfounded allegations" against the police.

"Apart from continuing officers' professional law enforcement and clarifying inaccurate information so people could know the fact, there's also a need to begin a new round of promotional work to demonstrate the force's professional and positive image internally and externally," the spokesman said.

Some Facebook users said they were looking forward to seeing the video.

"Support Hong Kong police. Normal Hongkongers will definitely watch it. Add oil," one wrote on the force's Facebook page.

"Looking forward to it, the trailer is just like a big movie," another commented.

However, members of the public that RTHK spoke to weren't as excited.

"I am not interested in watching it. Are they trying to convince people to join the force? But their image is really bad already. I don't think I will ask my friends or my children to become police," a woman who gave her surname as Cheng said.

"It seems that the police still don't know what is the problem. We want to know the truth about the July 21 and August 31 incidents," she added, referring to the mob attack in Yuen Long and riot police storming Prince Edward MTR Station to arrest protesters in 2019.

Another Hongkonger, who gave his name as Derek, said: "Professionalism is demonstrated through these so-called officers upholding the rule of law, not through promotional videos. But the rule of law is [now] only orders given by the Chinese Communist Party."

Professor Ma Ngok from Chinese University's department of government and public administration agreed that promotional videos like this won't help the police restore their reputation, noting that the government as a whole is facing a credibility issue.

"A lot of people believe since 2019 that a lot of misbehaviour of the police seems to be unchecked... and the watchdog organisations like the [Independent Police Complaints Council] actually are not effective," Ma said.

"The public generally have low confidence in the accountability of the police and there hasn't been any systematic change in the last two years. So I don't think a couple of promotional videos will change the scene."

The police didn't say how much the production cost, but said they always allocate manpower and resources according to the actual need, to ensure the proper use of public funds.