back to article Hong Kong plods turn RoboCop with strap-on vid cams

Hong Kong police have angered human rights groups and taken one small step to full automation by revealing their intent to trial new portable video camera technology attached to their uniforms to film the public. A police spokeswoman in the Special Administrative Region of China told AFP the body camera scheme would be in use …


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  1. Nick Leaton

    It's a double edged sword.

    1. The citizen will do the same. End result, you compare the two videos. If the police video goes missing, cases will be lost.

    2. Bad or criminal behaviour by the police and no action, removes the trust in the police rapidly.

    For example, Tomlinson. OK - policeman is a thug who killed someone. What's more worrying is his colleages who kept their mouths shut. Only when the video comes out, do we find out.

    3. Criminal cases. Defence says, give us the video. Police won't. End result acquital if the video isn't available.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      He was an antagonistic dick who spent the day obstructing the police, sadly he then paid the price for being an alcoholic and a prick. Being pushed over didn't kill him, having a liver about to burst did.

      1. Citizen Kaned

        Re: Tomlinson?

        yet he had been an alcoholic for years and hadn't died until moments after he was cowardly attacked from behind by an officer who has managed to avoid action for many occurrences of violence to the public.

        they said they couldn't prove the actions killed him. not that it wasn't down the to the actions. a massive difference.

    2. Ross K

      It's a double edged sword.

      1. The citizen will do the same. End result, you compare the two videos. If the police video goes missing, cases will be lost.

      Err, no.

      Are the Met Police still arresting people and/or confiscating their cameras if they think they're being photographed or videotaped?

      I believe they use sections 43 and 58A of the Terrorism Act (2000) as their excuse. Good luck recording your encounters with the plod.

  2. Kenno

    There is a MASSIVE difference between the HK police and the UK police though.

    Having lived in HK for several years, the police there on the whole tend to be more polite and less accusing.

    Granted they DO racially profile and go after the darker skinned folks more, but the times myself and friends have been stopped they are very apologetic about it. Though it is perhaps more to do with the culture tbh, as drinking yourself to oblivion and getting into fights is not exactly a common sight in HK.

    Secondly the HK's version of the IPPC the ICAC actually has teeth and a number of police officers have gone to prison.

    Their names do not immediately come to my mind but one was a cop who pulled a gun a civvie who embarrassed him.

    Another was a guy taking bribes.

    Finally a cop rapist. All went down.

    However they are still sometimes deeply embarrassing.

    That was the worst acting I've seen outside a Keanu Reeves movie.

    1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

      A few corrections...

      I have to agree that the Police here in HK are polite and generally effective. They probably racially profile, in 19 years I've never been stopped on the street and asked for ID.

      However, there is an IPCC, but they merely review cases after an internal Police investigation. The ICAC (Independent Commission Against Corruption) deals, like the label says, with corruption - anywhere in HK, and they are well known for pursuing anyone.

      The video is of the Amina Bokhary incident, the woman is well-connected and the niece of a Judge and has assaulted Police officers on previous occasions

      Perhaps the Police should take acting courses, if that is what it takes to remind the privileged classes that they are subject to the same laws as the rest of us.

      Yes, my ID card is in my pocket.

  3. Ceilidhman
    Big Brother

    Big Brother

    Well in Glasgow all the traffic wardens wear video cameras wich record all the time. I'm told it wasn't to do with any violence that had been used against them in the past though. I wouldn't go near one now without my phone camera recording, just so I have my own record of the interraction.

    1. mark 63 Silver badge

      Re: Big Brother

      you wouldnt go near a traffic warden with a camera?

      As long as you dont do anything illegal whats the difference?

      its not like them filming the encounter enables them to dictate what comes out on the video - what occurs is whats on the tape

      i guessss im being naieve

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    CCTV, old HAT...

    Hampshire's finest, including an ex-met ex-sussex officer last seen as a Hampshire PCSO intending to become a full officer (sound familiar?) wear them, along with the parking wardens, who if they see YOU have a camera turn away to avoid being photographed!

    Yes a potential double edged sword, but one that if it doesn't 'fit' will have developed a fault.

    HK is the edge of China, having seen a Chinese person, who is a cultural link worker at a UK University, threaten non-conformist Chinese academic's with a 'visit' for their family at home in China if they don't do exactly as she tell's them, be under no illusion, it's not going to be in 'the peoples' best interests...

  5. Harry Stottle

    Untrusted Surveillance

    The problem with so caledl "liberty" campaigners is that they lack imagination. The existence of these cameras is a major opportunity to begin taking control BACK from the Police. All we need is a a Law which makes any interaction between them and the public illegal UNLESS it IS recorded by such cameras. Citizen Innocent Until Proved Guilty; Authority Guilty Until Proved Innocent.

    In addition, we need to introduce immutable audit trails and robust laws mandating the storage of and access to the data. With these measures in place, body cameras will begin to be seen as protection rather than oppression. This is a major example of how and why Trusted Surveillance needs to be implemented...

    1. Ross K
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Untrusted Surveillance

      How's the weather in Utopia at this time of year?

      In addition, we need to introduce immutable audit trails and robust laws mandating the storage of and access to the data.

      As long as we've got public servants who leave their laptops in the pub, you haven't got a chance.

      They don't have respect for data - they know that their jobs are safe and that the worst outcome will be a small fine from a toothless watchdog if and when they screw up...

      "Trusted surveillance"? Give me a break. These body cameras exist to help a cop get an easy collar when you've flicked a fag butt out of your car. They're not there to help you. End of story.

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