The media representations of the police during Hong Kong Occupy movement

Wayne W. L. CHAN

The Open University of Hong Kong,

The image of Hong Kong police was greatly challenged during the Occupy Movement in 2014. Though there are various types of voices concerning the performance of Hong Kong police, little is known regarding how the police image was represented by Hong Kong media during a highly politicalized period. Drawing upon the theoretical perspective of “possible” and “impossible” mandates of police, this study aims to investigate how, during the Occupy Movement, the image of Hong Kong police was represented differently from those of mainland police who were less involved in the political controversy. To address the above question, the study conducted a content analysis of the news articles published in Hong Kong. The findings suggest that police images, in both jurisdictional areas, tend to be more positive regarding crime-fighting duties and tend to be more negative concerning order-maintenance duties. This paper further explicates how the police images of the two jurisdictional areas were represented when police duties are taken into consideration. This article concludes by arguing that the possible and impossible mandates of police are not mutually exclusive.


Dr. Wayne CHAN is an assistant professor in the Law Enforcement and Security Management Programme at the Open University of Hong Kong. He is also the teaching staff in the Hong Kong Police College, teaching Social Studies in Policing for the police trainees in Hong Kong.


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