‘Busy’ new IPCC head shuns media questions

The new chairwoman of the Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC), Priscilla Wong, ended her first press briefing on Tuesday without answering reporters’ questions.

She said she was in a hurry to attend another event.

Wong, a pro-Beijing barrister, made a short speech after her first IPCC open meeting. But she ignored questions such as how she felt about ties between the police and the public.

Grilled by reporters after Wong left, Clement Chan, who heads the watchdog’s publicity and survey committee, insisted the new chairwoman is sincere about communicating with the press.

Chan said what happened on Tuesday has no bearing on the IPCC’s commitment to stay transparent and accountable to the public.

“The chair-lady actually has prior engagement and arrangement and therefore she couldn’t spend more time than she liked in taking up the questions. So if I were you, I wouldn’t take the implication that she is doing it deliberately and that is her message to the press,” he said.

“I wouldn’t form any impression based on the first press conference. She actually spent effort in talking to [reporters] for the opening statement. I think she was struggling with time, and she really tried her best to communicate with [reporters].”

Chan added that reporters would have many opportunities questioning her in future.

In her speech, Wong said she will make sure people who lodged complaints against the police, as well as the officers in question, are treated fairly.

“When we have sufficient evidence that certain police officers are proven to have erred, the IPCC will definitely point them out regardless of their ranks or positions,” she said.

“If we found that someone abused the mechanism and made unreasonable and fake complaints, the IPCC will also impartially protect police officers who are maintaining law and order, to prevent them from being targeted by malicious attacks, so there is fairness.”