IPCC upholds six complaints on 2019 policing - RTHK
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IPCC upholds six complaints on 2019 policing

2021-03-16 HKT 21:18
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  • IPCC upholds six complaints on 2019 policing
The Independent Police Complaints Council says it has so far found six substantiated complaints against police officers in relation to the handling of the 2019 anti-extradition protests, after it wrapped up consideration of some 320 cases.

The substantiated cases include a lawyer being denied access to an arrested person, a journalist being called a "black reporter", as well as impolite treatment of some citizens.

The police officers concerned have been reprimanded, the watchdog said on Tuesday.

Out of the completed cases, 19 accusations were found to be unsubstantiated, and no fault was found in 51 cases. Around 110 complaints were also withdrawn, and it found that 134 couldn't be followed up.

The IPCC said it is still working on around 120 cases that have been forwarded by the police's internal complaint unit, which received a total of 1,950 complaints linked to the protests two years ago.

The watchdog said there had also been instances in which the officers who misbehaved cannot be identified, and IPCC chairman Anthony Neoh said police teams would, in those circumstances, be given what he called "service quality advice".

"The advice is actually given to the commanding officer, who has the responsibility to ensure that the whole team in fact behaves in the correct manner in future... and if that quality advice is not answered or adhered to, there will be command consequences for the commanding officer. This is again a basic criteria of accountability," he said.

Dr Neoh added that the IPCC is also studying guidelines available around the world on the police use of stun guns.

He said the watchdog hasn't heard concrete plans from the police yet on their proposal to deploy stun guns and other non-lethal weapons, but there are guidelines globally on when and how such equipment can be used.

"It is never a good idea to further weaponise the police, but it is always a good idea to use minimum force. That is the idea of really trying to use methods by which minimum force could be used in a public order situation," he said.

The IPCC does not have the power to investigate complaints itself, instead studying and scrutinising the handling of cases by the internal Complaints Against Police Office. It does have the power to request further investigation if it is unsatisfied.