Mall owner denies calling cops

Top News | Staff reporter 18 Jul 2019

Police entered New Town Plaza without alerting the mall, owner Sun Hung Kai Properties said.

It also rejected allegations that security staff led police into the Sha Tin mall.

Police told a security guard that they wanted to head to Lucky Plaza, who then showed them the way so they could "leave New Town Plaza as soon as possible," said Chan Kam-fai, the managing director of Kai Shing Management Service.

At a press conference yesterday, Chan showed the media four security footage videos taken inside the mall.

Chan said the clips showed police entering without alerting the developer.

When security staff noticed their entry, they approached the cops and asked questions. Police indicated they were heading to nearby Lucky Plaza.

Wanting them to leave New Town Plaza, the security guard took them in the direction of Lucky Plaza and left after a while.

At that time, there was no confrontation inside New Town Plaza, Chan said. SHKP will "express concerns" over the police's actions that night, he added.

Addressing reports that the mall removed large installations in its atrium ahead of the protest on Sunday, Chan said that was to ensure there would be enough room for people to head to the MTR Sha Tin Station.

In a statement, the developer said it "regrets" that the incident caused chaos and led to disappointment of citizens, mall customers and tenants.

"SHKP reiterates that New Town Plaza staff did not call police or ask police to enter the mall on Sunday. Police did not notify the mall before entering it," it said.

The company said it has always put its customers first. If it had known about the police operation, it would have warned shops to close early and to arrange for customers to leave the mall beforehand.

"SHKP fully appreciates police's right to carry out their duties inside the mall, and it hopes they can take the personal safety of the general public into account. SHKP will express its concern to police in regard to its operation at New Town Plaza on Sunday night," it said.

Sha Tin residents protested for the past three days at the mall's customer service counter over the mall's handling of the police on Sunday. Several hundred protesters turned up last night despite the mall's latest explanation, causing shops to close early.

Violent confrontations inside the mall and the surrounding vicinity led to the hospitalization of 22 people and arrest of more than 40. Some netizens have suggested organizing "flat-hunting tours" to Phase II at Mount Regency, an SHKP residential project in Tuen Mun.

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