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Review Of Human Roadblock Incident In Kwun Tong Ver7
Review Of Human Roadblock Incident In Kwun Tong Ver7
Review Of Human Roadblock Incident In Kwun Tong Ver7
Review Of Human Roadblock Incident In Kwun Tong Ver7
Review Of Human Roadblock Incident In Kwun Tong Ver7
Review Of Human Roadblock Incident In Kwun Tong Ver7
Review Of Human Roadblock Incident In Kwun Tong Ver7
Review Of Human Roadblock Incident In Kwun Tong Ver7
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Review Of Human Roadblock Incident In Kwun Tong Ver7

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  • 1. Master of Public Administration Hong Kong Baptist University Winter 2009 POLS7050 Public Administration Course Assignment: Review on “Human Roadblock” Incident in Kwun Tong By-pass CHO Chun-kit, Wong Hiu Tung 08407851, 08418098
  • 2. Executive Summary Review on “Human Roadblock” Incident in Kwun Tong Background 1. The “Human Roadblock” Incident in Kwun Tong on 13 July 2009 aroused intense media interest. Hong Kong Police Force (“HKPF”) deployed an operation to combat illegal road racing that day morning. It is reported that Police used civilian vehicles including three taxis, a truck and a private car to form a road block stopping at least fourteen illegal road racers. Six racing cars crashed into the roadblock and eight people injured on the Kwun Tong Bypass near Kwun Tong Ferry Pier1. It is believed that there was not any verbal communication between the police and the concerned civilian vehicles drivers for announcing the purpose of stopping their cars and seeking their consent for assisting the police’s anti- illegal road racing operation2. 2. Since reporting the way that Police used to stop the illegal road racers that day, the public opinion criticized the dangerous practice of the police neglected civilians’safety and concerned the measures and guidelines in respect of law enforcement against illegal car racing and the media followed the developments closely3. On 14 July 2009, the media reported widely that police chief apologized for the incident, concluded that there was an error of judgment in the operation and promised that the police would review their procedures. Development 3.Independent Police Complaints Council (“IPCC”) expressed its concern over the incident on 14 July 2009 and requested HKPF to provide relevant information of the existing practice adopted by the police. The Council then held a conference on 4 September 2009 to allow HKPF to clarify its practice. 4.A special meeting was held by Panel on Security of Legislative Council (“PS -LegCo”) in September in which discussed the incident and the relative policy and procedure of HKPF tackling illegal car racing. Our Concern 5. Against this background, we want to examine or raise: (a) The problems of the police shown by the operation; 1 “Human roadblock ‘put public at risk’” SCMP on 14 July 2009, 15-7-2009 2 “Human roadblock ‘put public at risk’” SCMP on 14 July 2009 3 “Human roadblock ‘put public at risk’” SCMP on 14 July 2009; “Police chief apologises for roadblock” SCMP on 15 July 2009.; LC Paper No. CB(2)2514/08-09(04) http://www.legco.gov.hk/yr08-09/english/panels/se/papers/se0929cb2-2514-4-e.pdf Retrieved on 16 November 2009. 2
  • 3. (b) Approach adopted by HKPF to remedy the mistake after the incident; (c) Other possible remedies; and (d) Limitation of those remedies. Methodology 6. Apart from studying information from news, we examined relative documents from Panel on Security of Legislative Council (“PS -LegCo”), Transport and Housing Bureau (“THB”), HKPF, Independent Police Complaints Council (“IPCC”). Observation and Opinion Problem (A) 7.We noted that the incident is related to combat illegal road racing operation under the Anti-illegal Road Racing Policy. According to the Guiding Principles of this policy 4, “the safety of both innocent members of the public and police officers are of paramount importance”, “it is not Police policy to put the public at risk nor to use vehicles belonging to members of the public to block the road during illegal road racing operations.” Furthermore, a Chief Superintendent of Police alleged in IPCC meeting on 4 September that policemen would not used civilian vehicles to form roadblock.5 8.Obviously, the decision maker, who decided to use civilian vehicles to form a roadblock to stop illegal road racers, had made a fault decision that substantively violates the Policy. 9.On the other hand, the decision maker was found not to follow the Chapter 41 of Force Procedures Manual (“FPM”) of HKPF, which contains instructions on roadblocks including legal powers; command and control; manpower and supervision; siting and equipment.6 According to FPM Chapter 41 paragraph 6 (“FPM 41-06”), only marked police vehicles with reflective chevrons or police vehicles in full conspicuity livery and displaying flashing blue lights can be placed across the highway to form roadblock.7 It double confirmed that it is not the Police policy to put the public at risk nor to use vehicles belonging to members of the public to block a road in order to intercept illegal road racers.8 4 Legislative Council Panel on Security: Law enforcement against illegal car racing http://www.legco.gov.hk/yr08-09/english/panels/se/papers/se0929cb2-2514-3-e.pdf Retrieved on 16 November 2009. 5 “警稱有權徵車擋路 拒協助可招刑責” (Chinese news title) http://hk.news.yahoo.com/article/090904/4/e27q.html News produced by Ming Pao Daily (Chinese news paper) on 5 September 2009. Retrieved on 16 November 2009. 6 Legislative Council Panel on Security: Law enforcement against illegal car racing http://www.legco.gov.hk/yr08-09/english/panels/se/papers/se0929cb2-2514-3-e.pdf Retrieved on 16 November 2009. 7 Legislative Council Panel on Security: Law enforcement against illegal car racing http://www.legco.gov.hk/yr08-09/english/panels/se/papers/se0929cb2-2514-3-e.pdf Retrieved on 16 November 2009. 8 Legislative Council Panel on Security: Law enforcement against illegal car racing http://www.legco.gov.hk/yr08-09/english/panels/se/papers/se0929cb2-2514-3-e.pdf Retrieved on 16 November 2009. 3
  • 4. 10.In this context, we questioned the quality of the policy enforcement and the “popularity” and “authority” of the Policy Guiding Principle and FPM among police officer. It should be a problem that needs to be looked into. Problem (B) 11.Beside, the incident is related to the use of the statutory power of Police to commandeer civilian vehicles and to stop and detain civilian vehicles. In the IPCC meeting mentioned above, the Chief Superintendent of Police stressed that under Section 63 of Police Force Ordinance (Cap 232), the Police had the right to request any persons to assist police officer for prevention of crime but the person who can refuse the request if it is hazardous to their lives.9 12.However, the policemen in the incident had not told the drivers anything after stopping their cars and just let them wait until the illegal racer crashed into those waiting cars. It is hard for us to allege that those policemen had commandeered those driver’s cars because police officer was empowered by law (Cap 232 S.54) to stop, detain and search and persons on board any vessel.10 13.Under the circumstances, those civilian drivers had no chance to judge whether “the request (by police) is hazardous to their lives” or not as there were not any requests for assistance made by police to those drivers. Is the above power delegated by law to the police too big? Is it providing room for police to abuse its power? It seems that it is the time for the Government and LegCo to consider reviewing the delegated power of police mentioned above. Problem (C) 14.Last but not lest, the incident raise public awareness on the seriousness of the illegal car racing problem in Hong Kong. And from the statistics provided by the Police, we find that the total no. of case that confirmed to be related to Illegal Road Racing from Jan to Aug 2009 is 23 while the figure form Jan to Dec 2008 is 26. 15.The follow up action carried out by If HKPF, IPCC and LegCo might re-heat the above public awareness again and again. Perception is reality. Even though the actual numbers of report on the confirmed illegal car racing is not a great number at all, police still needs to show seriously its determination on facing and tackling the car racing problem with substantive measures in order to prevent himself form a further public relation crisis. Remedies carried out by HKPF 9 “警稱有權徵車擋路 拒協助可招刑責” (Chinese news title) http://hk.news.yahoo.com/article/090904/4/e27q.html News produced by Ming Pao Daily (Chinese news paper) on 5 September 2009. Retrieved on 16 November 2009. 10 http://www.hklii.org/hk/legis/en/ord/232/s54.html 4
  • 5. 16.Police promised to carry out the following remedies:11 (a) To clearly specify the Policy Guiding Principle that in all relevant orders and instructions or direction; (b) To issue a Commissioner’s Order on illegal road racing to ensure standardization and best practice of the relative policy; (c) To review issues about roadblocks by forming a working group; and (d) To guarantee that they will continue to take stringent enforcement action to the illegal road racers. 15. We believed that (a), (b) might be the remedies of problem A while (c), (d) are the remedies of problem C. Other remedies recommended by us 17. Providing more simulation practical trainings of fighting street racing to frontline traffic police. 18.Educating public and warning street racers 19.Conducting surveillance of the street racing Limitation of the remedies 20. The remedy of clearly state an operational guideline against illegal car racing would definitely be contributed to clarify the same predicament when frontline Police Force facing. However, most sudden incidents happen unforeseeably. A strictly bounded guideline is not appreciated for decision making within a short time and leads to a problem of less flexibility. 21. Public could be informed about the dangers and legal consequences of racing as well as police enforcement intentions. The effectiveness of such measures depends on how much government put his resources in this issue. 22. The preventative measures that like street racers can be quiet sophisticated in their efforts to avoid detection by police. For example, unmarked police vehicles. Plainclothes officers and video equipment may be covertly used to observe racers’ movements and methods and to determine the problems they create. This allows for pre-race intervention, access to race areas to be closed off, and participants to later be charged. However, dealing of public privacy has to been 11 Legislative Council Panel on Security: Law enforcement against illegal car racing http://www.legco.gov.hk/yr08-09/english/panels/se/papers/se0929cb2-2514-3-e.pdf Retrieved on 16 November 2009. 5
  • 6. reviewed if this measure put in consideration. Conclusion 23. This incident review is not aiming at finding (i) if the content of and the measures inside the Anti-illegal Road Racing Policy and the FPM (Force Procedures Manual) of HKPF is useful and effective; or (ii) how to reduce the power given to the police by the laws clauses mentioned above. It is because we believed that it might involve professional judgment and we are not qualified to make further judgments. What this review wants to cope with is the policy enforcement problem of the police shown and generated by its operation (that is problem A and C) and the limitation of the remedies raised afterward. We hope this review would stimulate more different thought angles toward the incident and contribute to the relative review action that may be carried out by HKPF, LegCo, IPCC or other bodies in the future. Reference 1. Legislative Council Panel on Security: Law enforcement against illegal car racing http://www.legco.gov.hk/yr08-09/english/panels/se/papers/se0929cb2-2514-3-e.pdf Legislative Council Document. Retrieved on 16 November 2009. 2. LC Paper No. CB(2)102/09-10(01) http://www.legco.gov.hk/yr08-09/english/panels/se/papers/se0929cb2-102-1-e.pdf Legislative Council Document. Retrieved on 16 November 2009. 3. LC Paper No. CB(2)2514/08-09(04) http://www.legco.gov.hk/yr08-09/english/panels/se/papers/se0929cb2-2514-4-e.pdf Legislative Council Document. Retrieved on 16 November 2009. 4. IPCC Press Release on 14 July 2009 http://www.ipcc.gov.hk/en/download/pr/roadblock %20incident_en_tc.pdf, IPCC Document. Retrieved on 16 November 2009. 5. Cap 232 Police Force Ordnance http://www.hklii.org/hk/legis/en/ord/232/index.html Retrieved on 16 November 2009. 6. “警堵非法賽車 截街車當路障 賽車硬闖 6 傷 無辜司機怨當人肉沙包”(Chinese news title) http://hk.news.yahoo.com/article/090713/4/d68q.html, News produced by Ming Pao Daily (Chinese news paper) on14 July 2009. Retrieved on 16 November 2009. 7. “策略一直沿用 議員稱須檢討 截車當路障形同誤殺” (Chinese news title)http://hk.apple.nextmedia.com/template/apple/art_main.php? iss_id=20090714&sec_id=4104&subsec_id=11866&art_id=12985526 News produced by Apple Daily (Chinese news paper) on 14 July 2009. Retrieved on 16 November 2009. 8. “警設路障守則嚴格規矩多” (Chinese news title) http://www.h1.com.hk/news_topic/nt_content.asp? sid=1774&nt=np News produced by Headline Daily (Chinese news paper) on 14 July 2009. Retrieved on 16 November 2009. 9. “Human roadblock ‘put public at risk’” News produced by Shenzhen Daily on 14 July 2009. 6
  • 7. http://paper.sznews.com/szdaily/20090716/ca2916509.htm Retrieved on 16 November 2009. 10. “Human roadblock ‘put public at risk’” SCMP on 14 July 2009. 11. “Hong Kong police apologise for roadblock that injured eight” News produced by The Sun (Britain) on 14 July 2009(in Britain time). http://www.sun2surf.com/article.cfm?id=35749 Retrieved on 16 November 2009. 12. “Police chief apologises for roadblock” SCMP on 15 July 2009. 13. “人身安全為由 可拒警徵用車” (Chinese news title) http://hk.news.yahoo.com/article.html?path= %2F090714%2F3%2Fd735.html News produced by Sing Tao Daily (Chinese news paper) on 15 July 2009. Retrieved on 16 November 2009. 14. “一哥道歉 「沙包司機」氣消 認判斷出問題 聯絡事主允研賠償” (Chinese news title) http://hk.news.yahoo.com/article/090714/4/d6xs.html News produced by Sing Tao Daily (Chinese news paper) on 15 July 2009. Retrieved on 16 November 2009. 15. “Top cop's sorry saga” http://www.thestandard.com.hk/news_detail.asp? pp_cat=30&art_id=84861&sid=24568698&con_type=1 News produced by The Standard on 15 July 2009. Retrieved on 16 November 2009. 16. “徵用車輛規定須檢討” (Chinese news title) http://paper.wenweipo.com/2009/07/15/WW0907150002.htm News produced by Wen Wei Po Daily (Chinese news paper) on 15 July 2009. Retrieved on 16 November 2009. 17. “鄧竟成重申警執法著重市民安全” (Chinese news title) http://hk.news.yahoo.com/article/090718/3/ d9a2.html News produced by Sing Tao Daily (Chinese news paper) on 18 July 2009. Retrieved on 16 November 2009. 18. “鄧竟成:研究賠償當路障車” (Chinese news title) http://hk.news.yahoo.com/article/090718/4/d9a0.html News produced by Ming Pao Daily (Chinese news paper) on 18 July 2009. Retrieved on 16 November 2009. 19. “警稱有權徵車擋路 拒協助可招刑責” (Chinese news title) http://hk.news.yahoo.com/article/090904/4/e27q.html News produced by Ming Pao Daily (Chinese news paper) on 5 September 2009. Retrieved on 16 November 2009. 20. “人肉路障堵賽車 警認判斷錯誤” (Chinese news title) http://hk.news.yahoo.com/article/090929/4/egvf.html News produced by Ming Pao Daily (Chinese news paper) on 30 September 2009. Retrieved on 16 November 2009. 21. “警方未賠償被徵用作路障的士維修費” (Chinese news title) http://www.881903.com/page/zh- tw/newsdetail.aspx?ItemId=168508 News produced by Commercial Radio Hong Kong (Chinese Radio Channel) on 21 October 2009. Retrieved on 16 November 2009. Wong Hiu Tong and Samuel Cho Chun Kit November 2009 7
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