Parents with infants shoved off bus, as trunk roads again locked down before large-scale rally

The Civil Human Rights Front called for New Year’s Day March today. At around 1pm, the police set up a road block for random vehicle checks at the Western Harbour Crossng (WHC), near the West Kowloon entrance towards the Island side, resulting in traffic congestion.

At around 1pm at the West Kowloon end of WHC towards Hong Kong Island, the police set up a road block outside Elements. 5 of the 6 lanes were closed, leaving only one for vehicles to pass through. Long queues of traffic were seen on West Kowloon Highway. The road block was set up with traffic cones. At least two police vehicles and at a time two coaches were seen parked on-site.

A large number of masked officers of the Police Tatical Unit (PTU) stopped and checked cars, lorries and buses en route. Kowloon Motor Bus and Citybus each had one of their buses stopped and close to 20 people were required to alight from each. Even those with infants in arms were not exempted. A few were allowed to stay on bus, though. On a Citybus-operated 969 bus going from Tin Shui Wai to Causeway Bay, a 20-some man was arrested by a team of police officers and escorted to a police van after he shouted abuse, likely because he was dissatisfied with the way the police had carried out the stop and search.

On the other hand, a 690 bus operating from Tseung Kwan O to Causeway Bay was filmed being stopped on Po Hong Road by a large number of PTU officers who then got on the bus to investigate. Large numbers of passengers were required to alight and wait on the curbside for police interrogation. The police were also filmed to have set up a road block for traffic going from Tai Po to Tolo Harbour. At the entrance to Cheung Tsing Tunnel on Tuen Mun Road, the police were again filmed to have established a road block in preparation for vehicle checks.

Cap. 232 Police Force Ordinance, 54(2):
(2) If a police officer finds any person in any street or other public place, or on board any vessel, or in any conveyance, at any hour of the day or night, whom he reasonably suspects of having committed or of being about to commit or of intending to commit any offence, it shall be lawful for the police officer —
(a) to stop the person for the purpose of demanding that he produce proof of his identity for inspection by the police officer;
(b) to detain the person for a reasonable period while the police officer enquires whether or not the person is suspected of having committed any offence at any time;
(c) to search the person for anything that is likely to be of value (whether by itself or together with anything else) to the investigation of any offence that the person has committed, or is reasonably suspected of having committed or of being about to commit or of intending to commit; and
(d) to detain the person during such period as is reasonably required for the purpose of such a search.

If the police officer does not have reasonable suspicion and carries out the above, he is deemed to have contravened the law.

Related: 0101 New Year’s Day March

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