In 1976, Peter Mann left a gloomy England for the last corner of the British empire: Hong Kong. As a police inspector, he commanded a sub-unit and led a district vice squad in Kowloon, before joining the colonial government’s Administrative Service and working in the fields of transport, housing, security, environment and tourism. He also served as District Officer for Wan Chai. From raids on gambling dens to organising Governors’ visits, his work involved him in all levels of Hong Kong society.

“I started three riots,” Mann says. “One when a hawker slipped and fell into the harbour during a clearance exercise at the Jordan Road Ferry.” Another was the taxi riots of 1984.