‘Police’s call to make operation guidelines public’

The Independent Police Complaints Council said on Tuesday that it’s up to the police to decide whether they should publish a new dos and don’ts list for managing protests.

During a meeting with the police watchdog, the force said it acquired pepper ball guns and pepper spray launchers, and listed what to and not to do for commanders to reduce risks when dispersing protesters and using weapons.

The new measures were introduced in compliance with the 52 suggestions put forward by the IPCC after anti-government protests rocked the city two years ago. Thirty-seven have been fulfilled so far.

After the meeting, the council’s head, Priscilla Wong, said that it’s up to the force to decide whether the list should be made public, saying many law enforcement agencies in other countries will not disclose such information.

Separately, the IPCC said it has substantiated a total of 12 complaints against police officers in relation to the handling of the anti-extradition protests.

The police’s internal complaint unit, meanwhile, said it received around 950 reportable complaints in the first eight months this year – 200 more than those received during the same period in 2020.

The unit said most complaints had to do with alleged minor misconduct, like negligence of duty and offensive language.

There were also almost 70 complaints that were more serious in nature, including alleged assault and unnecessary use of authority.