Police admit delayed response to Yuen Long gang rampageLocal | 22 Jul 2019 12:17 pm
A police spokesman said today that there was a 35-minute delay before police went into Yuen Long MTR Station during a violent rampage by a gang armed with sticks because there was so many other incidents for the force to deal with, RTHK reports.
Superintendent John Tse from the media liaison and communication division, said police received a report of trouble at the station at around 10:45pm, and two uniformed police arrived at the scene about seven minutes later.
Tse said they saw more than 100 people inside the station and some had weapons. The policemen decided that “the situation was serious” and called for assistance.
However, Tse said “at the time, in the same district, there were many other fights and fire cases that had to be handled,'' so the support team did not arrive until 11:20pm.
He said the two uniformed police, while waiting for support, stayed in the vicinity of the station and continued to assess the situation to make sure they themselves were safe.
He added that the police believes the two did the right thing, because they had no protective gear, and even though they had guns, it would be dangerous to fire them in such a crowded place.
Tse also said it is “understandable” that no arrests were made when police entered the nearby Nam Pin Wai village where some attackers were believed to have fled, because police could not be sure anyone was involved in the MTR station attack.
He added that he "cannot completely agree" with allegations that police had colluded with triad groups and allowed the attack, adding the force will not collaborate with any criminals, and arrests will be made.
He also said that during “mass conflicts” in recent weeks, the intervention of police only resulted in more chaotic scenes, so it is therefore “necessary for the police to carefully assess the appropriate time to intervene.''