The Macau authorities have increased policing around the city’s casinos, said the Secretary for Security, Wong Sio Chak. The announcement comes shortly after an incident earlier this month in which a police officer fired a warning shot after seemingly – according to a video recording from a bystander that was uploaded to social media – being assaulted by three men.
The three men had been asked by the police officer to stop smoking in a no-smoking area outside casino resort Galaxy Macau. The alleged attackers – all from mainland China – now face charges relating to the crime of assaulting a police officer. Conviction for such a crime carries a sentence of up to five years in prison.
The police officer reportedly sustained minor injuries but has been deemed fit to return to front-line service.
Mr Wong additionally told reporters on Wednesday that the Macau government would equip all front-line police officers with pepper spray by month-end, in order to provide officers with an additional method for restraining violent suspects if necessary. All officers would receive training on how to use the pepper spray, Mr Wong stressed.
Following the warning shot incident earlier this month, representatives from the police and the city’s gaming regulator met to discuss ways of improving cooperation between police officers and private security guards at casino resorts in order to ensure a quick response to emergency situations. The parties issued a joint press release urging casino operators to improve training of their security staff, and to set guidelines for response to what was dubbed “unforeseen incidents”.
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