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How Hong Kong’s counter terror patrols have increased threefold
South China Morning Post
by Clifford Lo and Christy Leung
The number of sensitive locations that Hong Kong’s elite counter terrorism officers inspect and patrol has increased threefold to 600 over the past eight years, in response to global terror attacks, the Post has learned.
The revelation comes after officers from the Counter Terrorism Response Unit (CTRU) were deployed to patrol outside the Hong Kong Stadium where the Premier League Asia Trophy took place in July. Four English soccer teams – Liverpool, Crystal Palace, Leicester City and West Bromwich Albion – played in the tournament.
That event was the first time the anti-terrorism squad had carried out patrol duties at an international event in the city, the Post understands.
Elite Hong Kong police units simulate London, Berlin and Nice attacks in anti-terror drill ahead of China leaders visit
Similar deployments will take place when US singer Ariana Grande performs in Hong Kong on September 21. In May, a suicide bomber targeted the 24-year-old pop star’s concert in Manchester, England, leaving 23 dead and 250 injured.
A top police source said the surge was in response to terrorist activities around the globe in recent years, as attacks targeted large crowds to create large numbers of casualties and draw international attention.
“Not all the locations require day-to-day patrols by anti-terrorism officers. They are categorized into different risk levels in accordance with intelligence and assessment,” he said. “Those classified as low risk may be patrolled every three months.”
But the source stressed the city’s overall terrorism threat level remained “moderate” and there was no intelligence to suggest Hong Kong had been targeted for attack.