The  Commissioner of Police Lo Wai-chung commemorated the officers who gave their lives while on duty on Thursday. He gave particular thanks to those who perished in the 1967 riots, just a month after it was revealed that the police had modified parts of the historical text relating to the riots on their website.

At the Force Remembrance Day ceremony at the Police Headquarters in Wan Chai, Lo paid his respects to those who were killed in line of duty, and said that the occasion was a tribute to the dedication of those who served on the force over the past 171 years.

police hq
The ceremony at police HQ. Photo: GovHK.

“Today, we honour the memory of those who, whilst performing their sworn duty, have made the ultimate sacrifice by giving their lives in the service of the people of Hong Kong, including those who perished during the riots in 1967.”

The 1967 riots were started by leftists in Hong Kong following a labour dispute in a San Po Kong factory, after the Cultural Revolution in China started. During that year 8,074 bombs were suspected to have been planted, of which 1,167 were real bombs. At least 51 people died during the riots, including ten police officers, with 802 were injured.

In September this year, it was found that the police deleted and modified part of the “police history” of the 1967 riots on their website. “The changes made to the police history page are mainly to make its contents more concise and to correct sentences – other factors are not involved,” a police spokesperson told HKFP.

police ceremony
Photo: GovHK.

“Time and time again, we police officers confront danger and continually face the uncertainty of whether our duty to protect and serve will place us in harm’s way… we will, for the sake of the safety and stability of our community, never flinch from this challenge,” Lo continued.

Lo also greeted members of the Hong Kong Police Old Comrades Association, the Royal Hong Kong Police Association and other former members of the Hong Kong Police Force at the ceremony. “Like the many officers who came before them, they represent the finest traditions of service to the community for which the Force is both famed and justifiably proud – traditions, which are passed on from generation to generation,” he said.

laying wreath
Lo laid a wreath before the Books of Remembrance. Photo: GovHK.

Lo laid a wreath in front of the Books of Remembrance and observed a moment of silence in memory of the officers.

Earlier this month, the Police Force launched its official Facebook page, which was immediately flooded with comments critical of the police’s handling of Occupy protesters last year and the delayed prosecution of the seven officers who were said to have beaten up Civic Party member Ken Tsang. A spokesperson from the Police Public Relations Bureau warned netizens against engaging in “criminal behaviour online” and said that negative comments could be deleted.

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.