04/08/2020, 14.58
HONG KONG – CHINA
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Protests cause turmoil in Hong Kong police with many leaving, few joining

by Paul Wang

Violent crackdown against pro-democracy protests sinks trust in the police. Almost 500 officers resigned during the months of protest. Since June 2019, more than 7,600 people have been arrested, 17 per cent under the age of 18.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – Hong Kong’s Security Bureau today issued a disturbing report, noting that hundreds of members of the local police force quit during the months of pro-democracy protests and that the number of new recruits has dropped considerably.

The document, which was sent to Hong Kong’s Legislative Council (LegCo), indicates that between June 2019 and February 2020, at the height of the anti-extradition bill and pro-democracy resistance, some 446 policemen resigned.

During this period, Hong Kong police were accused of excessive use of force, brutality and even killing people at the Prince Edward metro station.

Overall, the number of officers who quit jumped 40 per cent over the same period the previous year. The report to the LegCo noted that many cited “family and personal reasons” for leaving, but some also mentioned “fake news” (by the police?) that led to a loss of trust in the force.

In parallel, the police recruited just over 760 officers between April last year and February this year, a 40 percent drop over the previous year.

Equally, the number of applicants to the force during the same period plunged by a similar percentage, to fewer than 11,000.

In a related matter, the Security Bureau yesterday told the LegCo that more than 7,600 people were arrested between 9 June 2019 and 29 February 2020 in connection with anti-extradition bill protests, aged 11 to 84. About 17 per cent of those arrested were under 18.

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