Physical confrontation and use of force at Ma Tau Kok Detention Centre

The request was partially successful.

Dear Immigration Department,

Can you please provide information on the following, for each 12-month period from 1998 - 2020:
(1) The number of cases of physical confrontation involving detainees at the Ma Tau Kok Detention Centre (“MTKDC”);

(2) The nature of such physical confrontation at the MTKDC, including:
(a) Detainee-on-detainee assaults
(b) Detainee-on-staff assaults
(c) Others (please specify)

(3) The number of detainees who were injured as a result of physical confrontations

(4) The number of MTKDC staff who were injured as a result of physical confrontations

(5) The number of cases in which immigration officers used force on immigration detainees at the MTKDC

(6) The reason for immigration officers to use force on immigration detainees at the MTKDC, including:
(a) to prevent detainee-on-detainee assaults
(b) to prevent detainee-on-staff assaults
(c) to prevent self-harm incidents
(d) Others (please specify)

(7) The type of force used on detainees, including:
(a) empty-hand control
(b) use of pepper spray/ oleoresin capsicum spray
(c) use of 37 mm single shot launcher
(d) Others (please specify)

(8) The number of times force was used on detainees, with breakdown by:
(a) empty-hand control
(b) use of pepper spray/ oleoresin capsicum spray
(c) use of 37 mm single shot launcher
(d) Others (please specify)

Thank you,
Rachel Li

Dear Immigration Department,

I'm following up on my access to information request on physical confrontations and use of force at the Mau Tau Kok Detention Centre. Please advise on the status of my request.

Thank you,
Rachel Li

KW15 WONG, 入境事務處

Our Reference: (2) in L/M (504) in ImmD DR/6-5/10/R

Dear Ms Li,

Re: Physical confrontation and use of force at Ma Tau Kok Detention Centre

Our department has received your application for access to information by
email on 29 March 2021.  Regarding your following up on your access to
information request on the captioned subject, you may wish to note that we
did not receive the said request before.   In this regard, we should be
grateful if you would clarify and let us know the content of such request
so that we can process further in this aspect.

If you have any enquiry, please contact the undersigned via this email.

Best regards,

WONG Ka-wai
for Director of Immigration

Dear Wong Ka-wai,

Please see my original request below.

Can you please provide information on the following, for each 12-month period from 1998 - 2020:
(1) The number of cases of physical confrontation involving detainees at the Ma Tau Kok Detention Centre (“MTKDC”);

(2) The nature of such physical confrontation at the MTKDC, including:
(a) Detainee-on-detainee assaults
(b) Detainee-on-staff assaults
(c) Others (please specify)

(3) The number of detainees who were injured as a result of physical confrontations

(4) The number of MTKDC staff who were injured as a result of physical confrontations

(5) The number of cases in which immigration officers used force on immigration detainees at the MTKDC

(6) The reason for immigration officers to use force on immigration detainees at the MTKDC, including:
(a) to prevent detainee-on-detainee assaults
(b) to prevent detainee-on-staff assaults
(c) to prevent self-harm incidents
(d) Others (please specify)

(7) The type of force used on detainees, including:
(a) empty-hand control
(b) use of pepper spray/ oleoresin capsicum spray
(c) use of 37 mm single shot launcher
(d) Others (please specify)

(8) The number of times force was used on detainees, with breakdown by:
(a) empty-hand control
(b) use of pepper spray/ oleoresin capsicum spray
(c) use of 37 mm single shot launcher
(d) Others (please specify)

Kind Regards,
Rachel Li

KW15 WONG, 入境事務處

Our Reference: (4) in L/M (504) in ImmD DR/6-5/10/R

Dear Ms Li,
Re: Physical confrontation and use of force at Ma Tau Kok Detention Centre

Our department has received your application for access to information on
1 April 2021.  Your application is now under processing.  According to
paragraph 1.16 of the Code on Access to Information, our department will
inform you of the latest progress of the case separately on or before 21
April 2021.  In the meantime, please contact the undersigned via this
email if you have any enquiry.

Yours sincerely,

WONG Ka-wai
for Director of Immigration

入境事務處

Our Reference: (5) in L/M (504) in ImmD DR/6-5/10/R

Dear Ms Li,

Re: Physical confrontation and use of force at Ma Tau Kok Detention Centre
Further to our interim reply of 7 April 2021, I am writing to inform you
that your application for access to information is still under processing,
as more time is required to gather and consolidate the information
requested in your application.  According to paragraph 1.18 of the Code on
Access to Information, our department will inform you of the latest
progress of the case separately on or before 21 May 2021.

If you have any enquiry, please contact the undersigned via this email.

Yours sincerely,

FUNG Tsz-ho
for Director of Immigration

KW15 WONG, 入境事務處

Our Reference: (504) in ImmD DR/6-5/10/R

Dear Ms Li,

Re: Physical confrontation and use of force at Ma Tau Kok Detention Centre
I refer to your request for access to information on 1 April 2021 and our
interim replies to you on 7 April 2021 and 21 April 2021.  The requested
information is provided below.

(1) & (2) The number of cases of physical confrontation involving
detainees at the Ma Tau Kok Detention Centre (MTKDC) and the breakdown by
the nature of detainee-on-detainee assaults and detainee-on-staff assaults
from 2010 to 2020* is as follows:

Year No. of cases of physical confrontation at MTKDC
Detainee-on-detainee assaults Detainee-on-staff assaults Total
2010 0 0 0
2011 0 0 0
2012 0 0 0
2013 0 0 0
2014 1 0 1
2015 0 0 0
2016 0 0 0
2017 1 0 1
2018 0 0 0
2019 0 0 0
2020 0 0 0

(3) The number of detainees who were injured in detainee-on-detainee
assaults and detainee-on-staff assaults at MTKDC from 2010 to 2020* is as
follows:

Year No. of detainees who were injured at MTKDC
Detainee-on-detainee assaults Detainee-on-staff assaults Total
2010 0 0 0
2011 0 0 0
2012 0 0 0
2013 0 0 0
2014 0 0 0
2015 0 0 0
2016 0 0 0
2017 0 0 0
2018 0 0 0
2019 0 0 0
2020 0 0 0

(4) The number of MTKDC staff who were injured in detainee-on-detainee
assaults and detainee-on-staff assaults at MTKDC from 2010 to 2020* is as
follows:

Year No. of MTKDC staff who were injured at MTKDC
Detainee-on-detainee assaults Detainee-on-staff assaults Total
2010 0 0 0
2011 0 0 0
2012 0 0 0
2013 0 0 0
2014 0 0 0
2015 0 0 0
2016 0 0 0
2017 0 0 0
2018 0 0 0
2019 0 0 0
2020 0 0 0

Remarks:
* MTKDC has commenced operation since 16 February 1998.  The Immigration
Department (ImmD) does not maintain the requested figures for the period
from 1998 to 2009.

(5) The number of cases in which immigration officers used force on
immigration detainees at MTKDC; and
(6) The reason for immigration officers to use force on immigration
detainees at MTKDC

According to departmental guidelines, in the event of a special incident
(such as a physical confrontation incident involving detainee(s)) at
MTKDC, duty officers will first assess the urgency and severity of the
incident having regard to the actual circumstances at that time, and then
use appropriate and necessary force to prevent deterioration of the
incident and ensure the safety of the detainees and staff.  Moreover,
where the situation permits, duty officers will give a warning to the
attacker(s) prior to the use of force to allow the attacker(s) to stop the
aggressive behaviour and obey the orders.  Duty officers will use force
only if the attacker(s) continue with the aggressive behaviour and do not
obey the orders.  ImmD does not maintain the statistics mentioned in the
questions.

(7) The type of force used on detainees (empty-hand control, use of pepper
spray/ oleoresin capsicum spray, use of 37 mm single shot launcher, or
others); and
(8) The number of times force was used on detainees with breakdown

When carrying out regular duties such as custodial and escort duties and
the handling of physical confrontations, staff of ImmD will handle the
situations by means of verbal instructions/orders or empty-hand control as
appropriate.  Staff of MTKDC are equipped with oleoresin capsicum foam but
not 37 mm single shot launchers to cope with possible violent or emergency
situations.  The officers of MTKDC had never used oleoresin capsicum foam.

I hope the information is useful to you.

Yours sincerely,

WONG Ka-wai
for Director of Immigration