20200102 Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP): I don’t understand why the police were required to show warrant cards right after arresting suspects

Police Senior Superintendent (Operations) Wong Wai-shun said that at 16:00 on 1st January, a bank was damaged by ten people-in-black. During the arrest of three of them on the suspicion of destroying or damaging property, three people who charged the cordon line were also arrested on obstructing the police in the execution of duties. He said that the scene was in chaos and he did not understand why bystanders were yelling. He emphasised that it was a crime scene and he did not understand why they had to make loud noises. He explained that apart from arresting suspects, police officers had to control the scene in order to avoid people snatching arrestees so they had to be equipped with riot gear.

Wong further pointed out that when the police arrest a person, they have to use their hands to catch the arrestee and s/he will resist. With the possibility of someone snatching the arrestee, it’s impossible for the police to ask the arrestee to wait for them to show the warrant cards. He said, the police have a clear mechanism for showing warrant card and they do as soon as they can.

Police General Orders Chapter 20-03 Disclosure of Identity to Members of Public Upon Request:
Without prejudicing operational efficiency, officers exercising statutory powers should disclose adequate personal information to identify themselves upon request. Officers should disclose the following minimum information after a request to identify themselves
– PC, SGT, Traffic Warden and Senior Traffic Warden: Rank and UI number
– SSGT and above: Rank and surname

Police General Orders Chapter 20-14:
2. A police officer shall carry his warrant card on his person at all times provided his intended activities are compatible with its safe keeping. An officer in plain-clothes when dealing with members of the public and exercising his police powers, whether he is on or off duty, shall identify himself and produce his warrant card. At the scene of a crime, officers in plain-clothes shall wear their warrant cards in such a manner that they may be readily identified.

Regulation 3, Part I of the Police (Discipline) Regulations (Cap. 232A):
2) The offenses against discipline are –
(j) making a statement which is false in a material particular in the course of his duty or in connexion with the discharge by the police force of any of its duties or functions;

Related: 1st January New Year March

RTHK(Follow-up report)