The Hong Kong police force issued a tender notice last Friday to acquire 6,050 riot helmets.

The helmets are “to serve as protective head gears for the police officers during crowd control operations and riots,” a notice posted on the government logistics department website read.

The tender documents showed that the helmets must be fire-resistant, with visors able to withstand bullets fired from 40 metres with a 12 gauge shotgun.

The tender notice will end on April 14. Delivery is expected within 12 weeks from the date of order.

A police spokesperson told HKFP that “Police will source and procure different items of equipment suitable for operational purposes in accordance with the established procurement procedures.” 

A source told pro-Beijing newspaper Ta Kung Pao that the purchase tender was issued following the Mong Kok unrest last month and that all frontline officers must have an adequate number of helmets available.

The newspaper cited the source as saying that, although each member of the police tactical unit and the emergency unit was equipped with a helmet, many were using old gear that was less protective and thus required replacement.

Violent clashes broke out on February 8 in Mong Kok which saw protesters throwing bricks at police officers and burning materials on the streets.

Photo: Kris Cheng, HKFP.

See also: China has ‘right and responsibility’ to intervene in riots in HK, says Basic Law Committee member

A week after the clash, the police established a review committee chaired by Deputy Commissioner of Police (Management) Chau Kwok-leung to review “operations”, “arms, equipment and training” and “support” of the force. The members of the committee include representatives of the four staff associations of the police.

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Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.