New police commissioner Raymond Siu Chak-yee blamed “fake news” for giving young people wrong impressions about the police.
The new police chief said fake news and false information has been circulating in Hong Kong in the past two years.
Siu said those who despise the force were affected by the misinformation and that the Police Public Relations Branch will take immediate action to clarify those false information in the future.
He said the rumors of people died in Prince Edward station on August 31, 2019, or detainees being raped at the San Uk Ling holding center have been debunked.
He added that currently there is no legal definition of “fake news,” but he welcomes any legislation that favors the law enforcement in combating the spread of fake news.
Meanwhile, the police chief disagreed with the claim of police-community relations being very bad, saying many citizens were scared to publicly support the force when there were protests.
“I think gradually more citizens will understand our intentions of being a part of the police force, which mainly is to protect the public safety,” he said.
He also disagreed with the claims that Hong Kong has turned into a “police state” as some suggested after former police officers Chris Tang Ping-keung and John Lee Ka-chiu take over major posts in the government.
Siu said he believed that any organisation, including the government, would recruit people based on their abilities.
Speaking about the police operation on July 21 in 2019 in Yuen Long, Siu said he understood some people were still upset about the police, but he hoped the public would move on.
He said the force had taken follow-up actions according to the suggestions of the Independent Police Complaints Council, such as improving the emergency number system.
The director of crime and security will take over Siu’s former position as the new deputy Commissioner of Police (operation).