Police fired tear-gas at a relatively peaceful group of several hundred protesters who had gathered near Sham Shui Po police station on Wednesday evening.

Some had been burning ghost money with officials’ faces on them, on the day of the Hungry Ghost Festival.

But others shone laser pointers at the police station, and by about 8.30pm officers had been deployed on the streets and issued a warning to the crowd to disperse.

The crowd initially ignored the warning, which prompted police to fire tear gas around 10pm.

Earlier, one of protesters explained why they were burning the money, saying that in the current climate, police had become “evil as ghosts”.