Hong Kong police officers’ children ‘intimidated and bullied’ after personal data leaked

Hong Kong police officers’ children ‘intimidated and bullied’ after personal data leaked

HONG KONG: The children of Hong Kong police officers are being “intimidated and bullied” after the personal details of some officers were recently leaked, a member of the city's Executive Council said on Monday (Jul 22).

Last month, Hong Kong police announced that they had found a website disclosing the personal data of police officers, including their names, addresses and telephone numbers.

Police officers have been under “extreme pressure” during anti-government protests over the last two months, said member of the Executive Council Regina Ip on the sidelines of a news conference. 

“I have visited a lot of police families last week. In fact, normally, policemen, frontline policemen, police officers and their families had been under extreme pressure," she told reporters.

“Their personal particulars had been exposed. They complained to me that their children are being intimidated and bullied at school.

“I fully understand everybody's anxiety, but in the near term we must depend on the police - trust and have faith in their professionalism.”

READ: Hong Kong police ‘stretched’, took longer to respond to train station attack: Police commissioner

READ: 'Triad' attack on Hong Kong protesters sparks anger

Hong Kong has been hit by violent protests over the extradition Bill, with riot police often clashing with demonstrators.

Police have also come under criticism for the perceived lack of response to Sunday's mob attack at a train station in Yuen Long, prompting Police Commissioner Stephen Lo to defend his forces.

In a news conference on Monday, he said because manpower was stretched, authorities took longer to get to the station where pro-democracy protesters and commuters were attacked by thugs.

Hong Kong police stand off with protesters at Mong Kok
Police prepare to clear a street during clashes between demonstrators and police in the Mong Kok district in Kowloon on Jul 7, 2019. (Photo: AFP/Vivek Prakash) 

Mr Bernard Chan, convenor of the non-official members of the Executive Council also came to the defence of the police force. 

“Unfortunately in the last month or so, things have been so heated up and the society has been so divided, and the police force has been stressed to the point that they may not have all the necessary resources," he said.

Condemning the Sunday night attacks, he said there is an “unnecessary fear now spreading”.

“We should not allow this fear to continue. I think the police definitely would have to take reasonable measures to protect the interests of the citizens,” he added. 

READ: Hong Kong journalist live streams being attacked at train station

“I think for years and years, we are proud of the police force in Hong Kong, and there is no reason why they cannot do that job. Unfortunately, the last month or so has been a very difficult time for our police force.”

Mr Chan said he hopes officers would continue to protect Hong Kong citizens “no matter which political belief” each citizen has.

“That should not be the matter. They should always have the best interests of Hong Kong people at large,” he added.

Source: CNA/mi(gs)