'Curious' officers in sex-scandal peek punished

Policemen were slapped with disciplinary punishment for logging into the force's internal system to check the face of a woman arrested for allegedly having sex on a Kai Tak residential building balcony in June.

The woman, 36, and her 30-year-old boyfriend were arrested for outraging public decency after a viral online video showed them having sex in broad daylight.

In the 16-second footage filmed in June, the naked couple were clearly visible as the balcony was merely glassed off.

The woman, who was a tenant of the flat on Muk Tai Street, was arrested on June 7 while the man was arrested on July 12 in Tsim Sha Tsui.

The maximum punishment for outraging public decency is seven years' imprisonment.

Barrister Albert Luk Wai-hung has warned earlier that the one who shot the video and posted it online might also have committed an offense under the Control of Obscene and Indecent Articles Ordinance, an offense punishable by up to three years in jail and a HK$1 million fine.

In the aftermath, it was learned that hundreds of officers, who were not involved in the investigation, logged into their internal system to view the video.

The incident was referred to the police's Complaints and Internal Investigations Branch.

The force determined that multiple officers had accessed the system out of curiosity, trying to detect the woman's face in the footage after a half-year investigation.

People questioned the force's cold treatment of this incident.

Police said an investigation had been completed and the "relevant officers have received appropriate disciplinary punishment."

An insider said although the officers were disciplined, the investigation found that no criminal actions were recorded.

The source said there was no evidence showing that the officers were circulating the woman's image on the messaging service WhatsApp.

The police emphasized that they give great importance to the integrity of its officers and will spare no effort to deepen the culture of the Police Force and prevent misconduct.

"We will follow up and conduct a fair and impartial investigation if an officer is suspected of committing a disciplinary offense," police said.