Hong Kong’s Police Commissioner Chris Tang and other force leaders have discussed plans to upgrade weapons, possibly including stun guns, and a proposal to ban insults against police, according to a report.

Chris Tang. File Photo: RTHK Screenshot.

During a two-hour video conference event entitled “Dialogue with the Commissioner” held at Wan Chai police headquarters on Wednesday, Tang revealed that the Security Bureau was considering a legal proposal to outlaw insults not only against police officers, but also all civil servants, Apple Daily newspaper reported.

The force would also provide assistance to officers who had been doxxed or injured while on duty, members of the force were told during the virtual conference.

Mentioning the case against RTHK reporter Bao Choy, who faces charges related to searching vehicle licence plate records for ownership details, Tang said the force would follow up the matter with the Transport Department.

Deputy Commissioner (Management) Oscar Kwok Yam-shu said police had purchased stun guns and were “carefully” discussing whether to introduce the new weapon. The force had also upgraded batons used by off-duty officers and would review the training officers receive.

October 17, 2014 – Police and protestors face-off at the protest zone in Mong Kok. Earlier in the day police began to clear protestors barricades. File Photo by Todd R. Darling

Deputy Commissioner (Operations) Raymond Siu said the force had consulted outside public relation firms to strengthen its social media presence and would consider hiring external publicists. Referring to the pro-democracy camps, Kwok said the quality of propaganda by “our opponents” was not great but was accepted by the general public.

File Photo: Jimmy Lam/USP & HKFP.

Police efforts to improve their image were lagging because the audience was smaller, Kwok said. Since police ended their weekly programme “Police Report” on RTHK, the substitute show livestreamed on social media “OffBeat On Air” had become popular. Police station open days would also resume, Kwok said.

Tang said police would combat “fake news” on all platforms. Force leaders would assist officers in the matters of their children’s education overseas, provide subsidies for attending school on the mainland, and liaise with the Hospital Authority if officers were treated inadequately at public hospitals.

Police chiefs would transfer officers to hospitals in the private sector or in Shenzhen where necessary.

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Selina Cheng

Selina Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist who previously worked with HK01, Quartz and AFP Beijing. She also covered the Umbrella Movement for AP and reported for a newspaper in France. Selina has studied investigative reporting at the Columbia Journalism School.