|Special Tactical Squad|
Special Tactical Squad removes obstacles from Tamar Street in Hong Kong
|Country||Hong Kong (China)|
|Branch||Hong Kong Police Force|
|Role||Crowd control, riot control, internal security, obstacle removal, securing areas and conducting arrests, first aid, etc.|
HKPF Operations and Support Department's Operational Bureau|
Police Tactical Unit (Hong Kong)
|Garrison/HQ||1 Wu Tip Shan Road, Fanling|
|Motto(s)||"Failing to plan is planning to fail."|
2014 Hong Kong protests|
2016 Mong Kok civil unrest
2016 Anti-Interpretation Protest
2019 Hong Kong protests
The Special Tactical Squad (Abbreviation: STS; Chinese: 特別戰術小隊, nicknamed Raptors; Chinese: 速龍小隊) is a paramilitary task force of the Hong Kong Police Force, being a sub-division of the Police Tactical Unit (PTU). It was created in June 2014 to handle protests with its main tasks being crowd control and riot control, including when the PTU suffered from heavy blockade or obstruction. Examples were obstacle removal, conducting arrests, providing first aid, etc. The STS would also conduct observational and command related tasks, to ensure and review the Police Tactical Unit's use of force and tactics are appropriate, to further improve from past events. A report by Amnesty International singled out the Special Tactical Squad and riot police for "the worst abuses" of excessive force during the 2019 protests, noting that "almost every arrested person interviewed described being beaten with batons and fists during the arrest, even when they were not resisting and often already restrained," along with multiple hospitalizations.
- 1 History
- 2 Selection Training
- 3 Uniform
- 4 Equipment
- 5 Major Incidences
- 6 Action Record
- 7 See also
- 8 References
History[edit | edit source]
In order to handle Occupy Central, the principle of the Police Tactical Unit, Chief Superintendent Au Yeung Chiu Kong Danko established the Special Tactical Squad task force in late June 2014. From its establishment, it was referred to as Removal Team internally in the police force. As Occupy Central evolved into the 2014 Hong Kong protests, the Removal Team got exposure in the press. The Hong Kong media gave it the nickname of Professional Removal Team. As Occupy Central continued, the squad gained further attention. On 30 Nov 2014, the Chief Superintendent of the Police Tactical Unit, Au Yeung Chiu Kong Danko, officially named it as the Special Tactical Squad.
On February 9 evening, 2016, in an escalation of the civil unrest, protesters changed their tactics, overwhelming the Hong Kong Police Force, and the Special Tactical Squad were deployed as a result. They arrived at the intersection of Soy Street and Sai Yeung Choi Street South at 4:30 am, where they quickly cleared protesters. However, after 5 minutes, due to the lack of reinforcements, they were forced to retreat, with one constable injured.
Selection Training[edit | edit source]
Police officers require training in thermal cutting and obstacle removal.
Uniform[edit | edit source]
- Beret: Newly designed in April 2002, created from the Police Tactical Unit Headquarters, uses soft, breathable, anti-fading and anti-hair removal fabric.
Work Uniform: Dark Blue, similar to other police units' uniform, including the Police Tactical Unit's work uniform, Airport Security Unit's work uniform, Marine Region's work uniform, Police Dog Unit's action uniform, Force Search Unit's work uniform, etc. To void of the media's confusion, and to be easily recognizable by the public, there is an emblem in their righter chest area, writing "Police Tactical Unit Special Tactical Squad" in English (as a continuation after the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Bureau as the second police unit to have their unit title on their police work or action uniform). Other than that, constables must stick on coloured labels on their helmet during daytime, and insert a fluorescent stick (including yellow or red colours, depending on their team) in night time, as for easier recognition by a commanding officer.
Equipment[edit | edit source]
Medical[edit | edit source]
Riot Control[edit | edit source]
- Riot Helmet, with built in cooling net, can withstand corrosive liquids.
- Riot Visors/Goggles
- Avon SF10 Gas Mask, British made, can withstand against tear gas, Sarin toxins, Chlorine gases, and other toxic gases.
- Vest, made by Blackhawk! (Now use a 5.11 tactical VTAC LBE vest.)
- Anti-cut Gloves, uses 3M materials, used to carry and remove obstacles.
- Fire Protective Gloves
- Riot Gloves
- Riot Boots, used since October 2003, as the Police Tactical Unit's development, produced by the Hong Kong Correctional Services. The outer layer of the boot is made from fire proof materials, center layer uses Gore-Tex materials, is water-proof and breathable. In addition to using Kevlar materials, consists of heat withstanding and penetration proof abilities. The bottom of the boot has GeoXT chips, achieving work safety standards.
- Tactical Boots
- Cable Tie
Lethal and Less-Than-Lethal Deterrents[edit | edit source]
- Smith & Wesson Military & Police
- Glock 17 (Only used by specialized officers)
- Pepper Spray/OC Spray
- 37/38mm Federal Riot Gun
- Model CS-565 Tear Gas rounds, 5 rounds per projectile, able to discharge at 50–70 meters.
- Model 373 Rubber Baton rounds, 3 rounds per projectile, able to discharge at 40–50 meters.
Others[edit | edit source]
- Gas Mask, used since April 2002, produced by the Hong Kong Correctional Services, durable, water-proof and fire proof.
- Wire Cutters
- Electric Drill
- Mobile Platform, 4 officers are in charge of protecting and pushing the platform, alongside 2 officers on the platform to observe, conduct forensic filming, announce, command, etc.
Major Incidences[edit | edit source]
2016 Mong Kok Civil Unrest[edit | edit source]
2016 Anti-Interpretation Protest[edit | edit source]
2019 anti extradiditon bill protests[edit | edit source]
Squads were deployed to disperse the crowds after clashes between the protesters and the police started. During some of the protests in August, protesters threw Molotov cocktails, bricks, metal pipes etc., and the squads deployed tear gas canisters, rubber bullet, beanbag rounds to disperse them. Some of the officers were accused for using excessive force during arrests and while dispersing the protesters.
Action Record[edit | edit source]
- 2014:Operation SOLARPEAK
- 2016: 2016 Mong Kok civil unrest
- 2016: 2016 Anti-Interpretation Protest
- 2019: 2019 Hong Kong anti-extradition bill protests
See also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Hong Kong: Arbitrary arrests, brutal beatings and torture in police detention revealed "amnesty.org" 19th of September, 2019
- Police Tactical Unit officially name the "Special Tactical Squad" "on.cc" 1st of December, 2014
- What's the name of the blue shirt unit? "Metro Daily" 12th of December, 2014
- Police Elite Team rapidly removes obstructors[dead link] "Singpao" 1st of December, 2014
- New shorts and beret "Offbeat" 724th Publication
- Blue uniformed unit officially named "Special Tactical Squad" "Oriental Daily" 1st of December, 2014
- Anti-cut Gloves "Oriental Daily" March 9th, 2015
- New boots for blue berets "Offbeat" 761st Publication
- OC Water Jet Pack even stronger than pepper spray 852Post 25th November, 2014
- New respirator pouch 《Offbeat》 721st Publication
- OC Spray and Pepper Spray "Oriental Daily" 26th November, 2014
- Protesters and the Speedy Dragons "Oriental Daily" 2/12/2014
- Protesters and the Speedy Dragons "The Sun, Oriental Daily" 2/12/2014
- CP and SDG members thank officers for contributing to Operation SOLARPEAK "Offbeat" 1033rd Publication
- CP encourages officers engaged in Operation SOLARPEAK "Offbeat" 1025th Publication
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