1. ITV Report

'Will we be safe? I don't know': The family afraid to go home to Hong Kong

Janice and her 10-year-old son Harry are due to fly back to Hong Kong next week. Credit: ITV News Central

Janice Williams is from Wolverhampton and moved to Hong Kong more than 12-years-ago.

Her son Harry was born there and it's the place they call 'home'.

But this summer, she's been watching weeks of violent protests unfold, from thousands of miles away.

She and Harry are in England for the holidays, and are due to fly back next week.

But Janice says, for the first time ever, they're scared to go home.

Credit: ITV News Central

"This is not the Hong Kong I know.

"Are we going to be safe when we go back? I don't know.

"It's quite devastating, it's quite devastating.

"Some of the injuries that have happened, it's quite devastating to think this is how Hong Kong could be.

"Because it's never a violent place, not in my ten years, it's never been like this at all."

– Janice Williams
The protests in Hong Kong are in their third-month now - and show no sign of stopping. Credit: PA Images

The city is now entering into it's 11th week of protests, which has seen fierce confrontations between pro-democracy campaigners and the police.

The demonstrations began in response to a proposed extradition law but have expanded to include other grievances and demands for more democratic freedoms.

The clashes with officers have become increasingly aggressive, with riot police firing teargas into a railway station and one protestor who was allegedly blinded.

Protesters wear eye patches in solidarity with a demonstrator who was reportedly blinded. Credit: PA Images

One man who knows all about policing in Hong Kong is Peter Evans.

He moved there in 1984 to work as a police officer, before moving back to Birmingham when the city returned from British to Chinese rule.

He says seeing seeing videos of the demonstrations has shocked him.

Peter Evans worked as a police officer in Hong Kong in the 80s and 90s. Credit: Peter Evans

"The nice thing about Hong Kong is that everyone got on well.

"You rarely say any fights in the street or anything like that.

"It was just a place that worked and everyone was happy living there.

"Seeing [the protests], you just can't believe it.

"It affects the police, now they're in the front line. And I certainly feel a lot of empathy towards them."

– Peter Evans
Credit: ITV News Central

The Foreign Office has warned travellers that: "Recent unauthorised protests have attracted heavy use of tear gas, including in built up and residential areas.

"If you are in and around areas where demonstrations are taking place, you should remain vigilant, follow the advice of local authorities and move away quickly to a safe place if there are signs of disorder."

Credit: ITV News Central

Despite the protests, Janice says she has no plans to leave Hong Kong yet.

She says: "It's not going to stop me from going back because that's our home.

"We will be going back and we will be staying."

  • Video report by ITV News Central Journalist Mojo Abidi

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