Not long ago, the police were seen as heroes who "catch the bad guys". These days, you're more likely to hear the phrase "abuse of power" in conjunction with police. Public anger erupted again as seven policemen accused of beating activist Ken Tsang Kin-chiu during the Occupy Central movement appeared in court last month. The incident has dented local trust in the police force.
Despite Hong Kong's low crime rate, an opinion poll by the University of Hong Kong revealed a general dissatisfaction among citizens towards the city's cops.
It seems the problem is not the force's ability to maintain safety, but its lack of public relations skills.
The use of batons and tear gas during Occupy was not wise, but police failed to justify their actions.
Police could improve their image by being more open with the public.
Police seem to respond to scandal by avoiding facing up to allegations. All officers should be held accountable for their actions; only then will they be seen to represent local concerns and be worthy of people's trust.