The Hong Kong police plans to buy three water cannon at a cost of HK$27 million, according to a newspaper report. I don't think they need these specialised vehicles that are mainly used during riots.
When hit by a water cannon, people can fall to the ground heavily and suffer serious head injuries and bone fractures. So many residents oppose the police's request to buy such equipment.
What's more, not all demonstrations lead to serious disturbances or riots. So there's no need to spend such a large amount of money on devices that pose a danger to the public. I hope the police will withdraw their proposal.
Leung Yiu-tin, Christian Alliance S. C. Chan Memorial College
From the Editor
Thank you for your email, Yiu-tin. Whenever there is any threat to society, real or imagined, you can believe that some officer is going to sit down with a gadgets catalogue to see what they can order. These cannon are used in countries where protesters become very violent. And the critics are right; they can cause nasty injuries, but they seldom do.
Water cannon are used in many places in the world, where they definitely were better than a combined force of batons, tear gas and firearms. Perhaps we should be asking ourselves whether or not the situation in Hong Kong warrants these devices. As far as crowd control methods go, though, they are very effective, and you wouldn't want a situation where we have to order one when the city is being burned down by crazy protesters.
Perhaps the key, then, is to have them here, but only allow them to be used with permission from a judge.