The police watchdog said on Monday that in the first half of the year it received 213 complaints involving allegations of police officers obtaining admissions by means of assault, inducement and threat, as well as fabrication of evidence and inaccurate statements during criminal investigations.

A total of 776 complaint cases were endorsed by the Independent Police Complaints Council. Of these cases, 47 were fully investigated by the Complaints Against Police Office, and 39 of them were classified as “false” or “no fault.”

Larry Kwok. File Photo: IPCC.

IPCC said the complainants initially pleaded not guilty at court and challenged the admissibility and voluntariness of the statements, but after the court ruled them admissible, the complainants pleaded guilty and did not follow up on the allegations. The IPCC said it believed that these cases “might be tactical complaints” used against the police officer “only as a line of defence.”

It said that the remaining 166 cases were classified as “withdrawn” as requested by complainants or “not pursuable” as the complainants did not follow up with the Complaints Against Police Office.

“The IPCC hopes that members of the public understand that a complaint mechanism is one of the cornerstones for a liberal society,”  IPCC Chairman Larry Kwok said.

File photo: In-Media.

He added that the complainant should ensure all information is accurate to ensure “public resources for complaint handling could be effectively deployed.”

The IPCC also said it has recommended that the Complaints Against Police Office reclassify a case involving an expat who was put on the wanted and watch list by the chief inspector following complaints by his former company that he had stolen furniture.

It said that there was insufficient detail provided by the company and that the act of putting someone on such a list should be supported by strong justification. It suggested reclassifying the case from “no fault” to “substantiated” in the allegation of neglect of duty against the chief inspector.

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.