'Eyes and ears everywhere' hotline

Top News | Michael Shum 30 Oct 2020

A multimedia hotline to report potential national security offenders- which comes with a special police unit with "eyes and ears everywhere" - is expected to be launched next month.

Police stressed that it will not collect tipsters' personal data or reveal information provided through the hotline.

RTHK, quoting other sources, said police have yet to decide when to launch the hotline.

Sources said tipsters' identities and information collected will be handled by police officers in the national security department headed by deputy police commissioner Edwina Lau Chi-wai.

"The public may have information about activities that could jeopardize national security or even suspects' details or their movements," sources said.

"They will not call 999 to report such sensitive information. There needs to be a proper channel for the reports to reach police as well as for police to gather public intelligence." This proper channel will create "a deterrent effect for potential suspects, as there will be eyes and ears everywhere."

Sources said the hotline was first floated in July and brushed off claims it had something to do with the arrest of Tony Chung or the 12 Hongkongers intercepted by the Guangdong coast guard in late August during an attempt to flee to Taiwan.

The hotline will run on a similar model to the "anti-violence hotline" launched last September to crack down on unrest and street clashes, sources added.

It will allow people to send information, photos, audio and video clips to an e-mail address. They can also send SMS text messages to a phone number or through WeChat or Line. But officers will not pick up calls due to the sensitivity of the information.

Sources said they are not worried that the hotline will be abused or used to pass on fake leads as officers will determine the authenticity of the information.


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