Police Public Relations Branch Chief Superintendent Tse Chun-chung called on self-proclaimed first-aiders to stay away from protest sites.
Speaking at today’s press conference, Mr Tse noted that there were many self-described first-aiders in helmets or reflective vests gathered at last weekend’s protests.
He said: “They claimed to have various medical qualifications and were trying to render medical assistance to those in need during violent clashes.
“We certainly understand their passion for helping others. Saving lives is always the top priority of Police. If the situation warrants, our officers will arrange for medical attention from ambulance officers.”
“However, we must emphasise, during a dispersal operation, even these self-proclaimed first-aiders must leave the scene regardless of their occupations, outfits and roles. They must obey police instructions.”
Mr Tse stressed that Police disagree with the Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor’s accusation that the force is targeting first-aiders.
“As long as the self-proclaimed first-aiders do not commit any unlawful acts, our officers have no reason to arrest them.
“If the injured persons have already been arrested, we are fully responsible for their safety. Normally our officers will call for an ambulance. In the meantime, our officers who are trained in first aid will also monitor their condition.
“We must emphasise during initial medical treatment, the injured people may have drastic changes in condition. The issue of liability is crucial; we cannot let someone who claims to be a medic give medical assistance to arrested persons. That would be a highly irresponsible act.”
He added that Police have very strict internal guidelines on protecting arrestees.
“Saving lives is of utmost importance and our officers will do their utmost to protect the safety of arrested persons.”