The police in Hong Kong is adding to the increasingly extreme measures they're using to control protestors by ordering what has been called a 'robocop-style' police armor.
The new type of anti-riot body armor, which can withstand bullets and knife attacks, has been imported from China.
Police in Hong Kong have imported the new type of lightweight, bulletproof anti-riot body armor from China, as tensions show no signs of de-escalating in the Hong Kong protests.
The armor is said to be able to protect against attacks from sharp and flammable objects, Business Insider reports.
Kong Wing-Chueng, Hong Kong Police Force's Senior Superintendent, said on Tuesday that the new armor suits were bought for police who have been facing pro-democracy protests for over 12 weeks of violence.
"As a responsible employer, we purchase any equipment that provides the best protection to our officers," he said, according to the South China Morning Post.
According to the Post, 500 sets of the suits have been purchased. This new order may be partly as a result of the fact that Britain suspended its sale of teargas and other crowd control gear to Hong Kong two months ago. It looks like this move has made it so that the Hong Kong police force has to depend more on China.
Chinese state tabloid Global Times also confirmed the order of the anti-riot armor. The newspaper cited the suits developers, Guangzhou-based Guangzhou Weifu Science & Technology Development.
As per the Times, Guangzhou Weifu Science & Technology Development also provides protective gear to Israel, Iraq, Morocco, and Jordan.
Expensive Robocop-style gear
A source from within the Hong Kong police told the SCM Post that each suit costs $420. Global Times, on the other hand, estimates the suits cost roughly $670.
When I walked from #HongKong to #Shenzhen back in 1986, my first impression of the people, based on their outfit, was ”they all look like Mao”. Today, one might think ”they all look like Robocop”. #china #HongKongProtests https://t.co/BEMuPF58Dk— Teivo Teivainen (@TeivoTeivainen) August 17, 2019
The suits have drawn comparisons online to RoboCop - the part cyborg, part human police character from the 80s movie of the same name.