HK Police hold large-scale counter-terrorism drill
Hong Kong police have held a counter-terrorism drill, aiming to test their capability to handle scenarios that have been seen elsewhere around the world.
The drill imagined terrorists attacking people with knives, pistols and home-made hand grenades, with several simulated terrorist attacks happening at different places at the same time, replicating methods similar to those adopted by terrorists in the Paris November 2015 attacks or the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
HK Police Drill-Special Duties Unit know as flying tigers in drill. [Photo: CGTN]
The goal of the exercise is to assess the effectiveness of contingency plans and to ensure that the officers are ready for any scenario, even though Hong Kong’s terrorism threat level remains at “moderate”.
“I must stress that so far there is no specific intelligence to suggest that Hong Kong is a target of terrorist attack and the overall terrorist threat level against Hong Kong remains moderate,” said John Tse, Hong Kong Police Spokesman. “However, looking at the latest global terrorist situation, we know that the patterns of terrorist attack now today are hard to predict.”
The four-day drill, code-named “HARDSHIELD”, involves the police Emergency Unit, Counter Terrorism Response Unit, Special Duties Unit, and Police Negotiation Cadre, as well as other agencies.
HK Police Drill-Emergency Unit Simulated Response. [Photo: CGTN]
In the first three days of the exercise, police "arrested" two terrorists after intelligence-led operations, and "discovered" a bomb-making location.
The large-scale drill helps to prepare the Police Force for upcoming events, including visits by state leaders in late June.
Police sources say more than a third of the entire Hong Kong Police Force is expected to be deployed next month during celebrations to mark the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to China. Elite police squads, including Special Duties Unit – known as the “Flying Tigers” will be among the 10,000 officers to be deployed on the ground and in the air.
HK Police Drill-SDU and Armoured Vehicles deployed in drill. [Photo: CGTN]
A police spokesman said specific security arrangements for the 20th anniversary celebrations will be made after information-gathering is completed and professional assessments are conducted.
Later this month, officers from the police Airport Security Unit will hold another anti-terror drill with the Aviation Security Company.