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The Special Tactical Squad (Abbreviation: STS; Chinese: 特別戰術小隊, nicknamed Elite Team, or Raptors/Speedy Dragons; Chinese: 速龍小隊) is an elite paramilitary task force of the Hong Kong Police Force, being a sub-division of the Police Tactical Unit (PTU). It was created in June 2014 to handle mass riot or protests with its main task being assuring a smooth progress of riot control and bring order to chaos if the situation has been on-going for prolonged periods or time or even out of control, and/or if the PTU suffered from heavy blockade or obstruction, using rapid maneuvers to remove obstacles, secure an area and to conduct arrests, provide first aid, etc. The STS will also conduct observational and command related tasks, to ensure and review the Police Tactical Unit's use of force and tactics are appropriate, to further improve from past events.

Special Tactical Squad
Special Unit Cleaning Tamar Street 20141211.jpg
Special Tactical Squad removes obstacles from Tamar Street in Hong Kong
ActiveJune 2014-Present
Country Hong Kong
BranchHong Kong Police Force
TypeRiot Control
RoleMass riot control, internal security, using rapid manoeuvres to remove obstacles, secure an area and to conduct arrests, to provide first aid, etc.
Part ofHKPF Operations and Support Department's Operational Bureau
Police Tactical Unit (Hong Kong)
Garrison/HQ1 Wu Tip Shan Road, Fanling
Nickname(s)Elite Team
Speedy Dragons
Raptors
Motto(s)"Failing to plan is planning to fail."
ColorsDark Blue
EngagementsOperation Solarpeak (i.e. 2014 Hong Kong protests)
2016 Mong Kok civil unrest
2016 Anti-Interpretation Protest
2019 Hong Kong anti-extradition bill protests

Contents

HistoryEdit

In order to handle Occupy Central, the principle of the Police Tactical Unit, Chief Superintendent Au Yeung Chiu Kong Danko in late June 2014, established a task force, namely the Special Tactical Squad. From its establishment, it was called as Removal Team internally in the police force. As Occupy Central had become the 2014 Hong Kong protests, the Removal Team got exposure in the press. The Hong Kong media has given it the nick name of Professional Removal Team. As Occupy Central further strikes on, the squad further hits the lights of the press. On 30 Nov 2014, the Chief Superintendent of the Police Tactical Unit, Au Yeung Chiu Kong Danko, officially named it as the Special Tactical Squad[1].

The Special Tactical Squad within the Hong Kong Police Force has shown professionalism during the 2014 Hong Kong protests, as they have been recognized by the Gazetted ranked officers, therefore they were stripped from their special task force status, and instead put within the police structure as a official unit[2].

On February 9th evening, 2016, due to the escalation of the civil unrest, mass of protesters started using relatively new strategies unseen of previously, which resulted in the failure of combatant from the police force, the Special Tactical Squad were deployed as a result. First clearance were at 4:30 am, in the intersection of Soy Street and Sai Yeung Choi Street South, they successfully cleared the protesters within 30 seconds. However after 5 minutes, due to the lack of reinforcements, they were forced to fully fall back, with one constable injured.

Selection TrainingEdit

Police officers require training in specialised thermal cutting and obstacle removal[3].

UniformEdit

 
STS Patch worn by officers.

Work Uniform: Dark Blue[5], similar to other police units' uniform, including the Police Tactical Unit's work uniform, Airport Security Unit's work uniform, Marine Region's work uniform, Police Dog Unit's action uniform, Force Search Unit's work uniform, etc. To void of the media's confusion, and to be easily recognizable by the public, there is an emblem in their righter chest area, writing "Police Tactical Unit Special Tactical Squad" in English (as a continuation after the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Bureau as the second police unit to have their unit title on their police work or action uniform). Other than that, constables must stick on coloured labels on their helmet during daytime, and insert a fluorescent stick (including yellow or red colours, depending on their team) in night time, as for easier recognition by a commanding officer.

EquipmentEdit

 
2 STS officers standing on the mobile platform. (Photo taken on 25th of November, Mong Kok Reclamation Street)
 
Police Tactical Unit officer with a M201-Z Federal Riot Gun
 
ASP 21-inch (53 cm) expandable baton in expanded and collapsed state

MedicalEdit

Riot ControlEdit

Lethal and Less-Than-Lethal DeterrentsEdit

OthersEdit

Major IncidencesEdit

Occupy Central, Umbrella Revolution, Umbrella MovementEdit

2016 Mong Kok Civil UnrestEdit

2016 Anti-Interpretation ProtestEdit

2019 Hong Kong anti-extradition bill protestsEdit

In the June 12 Hong Kong anti-extradition bill protests in Admiral, the special tactical squad was suspected of using excessive force to disperse the protesters, and there were suspected special tactical squad members beating the protesters.

 
Special tactical squad members were suspected beating the protesters.

Action RecordEdit

See AlsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Police Tactical Unit officially name the "Special Tactical Squad" "on.cc" 1st of December, 2014
  2. ^ What's the name of the blue shirt unit? "Metro Daily" 12th of December, 2014
  3. ^ Police Elite Team rapidly removes obstructors[permanent dead link] "Singpao" 1st of December, 2014
  4. ^ New shorts and beret "Offbeat" 724th Publication
  5. ^ Blue uniformed unit officially named "Special Tactical Squad" "Oriental Daily" 1st of December, 2014
  6. ^ Anti-cut Gloves "Oriental Daily" March 9th, 2015
  7. ^ New boots for blue berets "Offbeat" 761st Publication
  8. ^ OC Water Jet Pack even stronger than pepper spray 852Post 25th November, 2014
  9. ^ New respirator pouch 《Offbeat》 721st Publication
  10. ^ OC Spray and Pepper Spray "Oriental Daily" 26th November, 2014
  11. ^ Protesters and the Speedy Dragons "Oriental Daily" 2/12/2014
  12. ^ Protesters and the Speedy Dragons "The Sun, Oriental Daily" 2/12/2014
  13. ^ CP and SDG members thank officers for contributing to Operation SOLARPEAK "Offbeat" 1033rd Publication
  14. ^ CP encourages officers engaged in Operation SOLARPEAK "Offbeat" 1025th Publication