Special Tactical Squad
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 Tactical Squad removes obstacles from Tamar Street in Hong Kong
|Branch||Hong Kong Police Force|
|Role||Mass riot control, internal security, using rapid manoeuvres to remove obstacles, secure an area and to conduct arrests, to provide first aid, etc.|
|Part of||HKPF Operations and Support Department's Operational Bureau|
Police Tactical Unit (Hong Kong)
|Garrison/HQ||1 Wu Tip Shan Road, Fanling|
|Motto(s)||"Failing to plan is planning to fail."|
|Engagements||Operation Solarpeak (i.e. 2014 Hong Kong protests) |
2016 Mong Kok civil unrest
2016 Anti-Interpretation Protest
2019 Hong Kong anti-extradition bill protests
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.
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.
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.
Police officers require training in specialised thermal cutting and obstacle removal.
- Beret: Newly designed in April of 2002, created from the Police Tactical Unit Headquarters, uses soft, breathable, anti-fading and anti-hair removal fabric.
Work Uniform: Dark Blue, 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.
- Riot Helmet, with built in cooling net, can withstand corrosive liquids.
- Riot Visors/Goggles
- Avon SF10 Gas Mask, British made, can withstand against tear gas, Sarin toxins, Chlorine gases, and other toxic gases.
- Vest, made by Blackhawk!
- Anti-cut Gloves, uses 3M materials, used to carry and remove obstacles.
- Fire Protective Gloves
- Riot Gloves
- Riot Boots, used since October of 2003, as the Police Tactical Unit's development, produced by the Hong Kong Correctional Services. The outer layer of the boot is made from fire proof materials, center layer uses Gore-Tex materials, is water-proof and breathable. In addition to using Kevlar materials, consists of heat withstanding and penetration proof abilities. The bottom of the boot has GeoXT chips, achieving work safety standards.
- Tactical Boots
- Cable Tie
Lethal and Less-Than-Lethal DeterrentsEdit
- Smith & Wesson Military & Police
- Glock 17 (Only used by specialized officers)
- Pepper Spray/OC Spray
- 37/38mm Federal Riot Gun
- Model CS-565 Tear Gas rounds, 5 rounds per projectile, able to discharge at 50-70 meters.
- Model 373 Rubber Baton rounds, 3 rounds per projectile, able to discharge at 40-50 meters.
- Gas Mask, used since April 2002, produced by the Hong Kong Correctional Services, durable, water-proof and fire proof.
- Wire Cutters
- Electric Drill
- Mobile Platform, 4 officers are in charge of protecting and pushing the platform, alongside 2 officers on the platform to observe, conduct forensic filming, announce, command, etc.
STS in Queensway rapidly removing obstacles.
STS & PTU in Queensway rapidly removing obstacles.
STS in Causeway Bay rapidly removing obstacles.
2016 Mong Kok Civil UnrestEdit
STS in Sai Yee Street creating a riot blockade.
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.
- Police Tactical Unit officially name the "Special Tactical Squad" "on.cc" 1st of December, 2014
- What's the name of the blue shirt unit? "Metro Daily" 12th of December, 2014
- Police Elite Team rapidly removes obstructors[permanent dead link] "Singpao" 1st of December, 2014
- New shorts and beret "Offbeat" 724th Publication
- Blue uniformed unit officially named "Special Tactical Squad" "Oriental Daily" 1st of December, 2014
- Anti-cut Gloves "Oriental Daily" March 9th, 2015
- New boots for blue berets "Offbeat" 761st Publication
- OC Water Jet Pack even stronger than pepper spray 852Post 25th November, 2014
- New respirator pouch 《Offbeat》 721st Publication
- OC Spray and Pepper Spray "Oriental Daily" 26th November, 2014
- Protesters and the Speedy Dragons "Oriental Daily" 2/12/2014
- Protesters and the Speedy Dragons "The Sun, Oriental Daily" 2/12/2014
- CP and SDG members thank officers for contributing to Operation SOLARPEAK "Offbeat" 1033rd Publication
- CP encourages officers engaged in Operation SOLARPEAK "Offbeat" 1025th Publication
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Special Tactical Squad.|