For discussion
on 14 November 1997


Subhead 624 Repairs and improvements to border fences
New item " Replacement of electronic sensor cable system
along the land boundary fence "

Members are invited to approve a commitment of $42 million for replacing the electronic sensor cable system along the land boundary fence.


The existing electronic sensor cable system installed along the land boundary fence will reach the end of its serviceable life in 1999. Also, the system lacks visual display function for the control suites to monitor illegal immigration activities along the boundary fence.


2.The Commissioner of Police (CP), with the support of the Secretary for Security (S for S), proposes to replace the existing electronic sensor cable system at a non-recurrent cost of $42 million.


3.In 1982, we installed an electronic sensor cable system along the land boundary fence to detect illegal immigrants entering Hong Kong on land. It is an alarm system connected to the control suite of the Police Field Patrol Detachment (FPD). When the sensor detects intrusion, it activates signals at the control suite. The control suite commander-in-charge will deploy FPD officers to search the intruded area.

4.Operational experience has shown that the system is effective in covering the many blind spots which cannot be frequently patrolled by police. As an indication, we have arrested an average of 200 illegal immigrants per month along the boundary fence. However, the existing system does not have an instant visual display function to help the control suite to identify the nature of the alarm. Thus, we have to deploy patrolling police officers to investigate the cause whenever the alarm goes off, sometimes due to environmental factors, such as strong wind, heavy rain or landslides.

5.The Director of Electrical and Mechanical Services (DEMS) has advised that most of the electronic devices of the existing system are approaching the end of their serviceable life and will be beyond economical repair after 1998. To maintain Police effectiveness in preventing illegal immigration at the land boundary, CP considers it necessary to replace the sensor cable system. He will also take the opportunity to enhance the detection capability by providing instant visual display of target locations at the control suites. The proposed system will improve the operational deployment of FPD officers at the land boundary.


Non-recurrent cost

6.CP estimates that the non-recurrent cost of the proposed electronic sensor cable system will be $42 million, broken down as follows -

$ ' 000
(a)Sensor cable

(b)Electronic devices and related facilities

(c)CCTV, searchlight and display installations

(d)Computer and visual control equipment

(e)Charges by Electrical and Mechanical Services Trading Fund (EMSTF)

Total 42,000
7.As regards paragraph 6(a), the estimate of $20 million is for the acquisition and installation of a single-run electronic sensor cable along the 35 kilometre-long land boundary fence.

8.As regards paragraph 6(b), the estimate of $11.6 million is for provision of associated electronic devices, such as zone analysers, terminal boxes and multiplexer outstations to be installed along the cable.

9.As regards paragraph 6(c), the estimate of $1 million is for 100 sets of low light CCTV cameras linked with infra-red spot searchlights to be deployed at target locations to cover the blind spots and visual display installations at the control suites.

10.As regards paragraph 6(d), the estimate of $4.7 million is for computer equipment, schematic display and video recording facilities to be installed in the control suites.

11.As regards paragraph 6(e), the estimate of $4.7 million is for professional project management fees to be charged by the EMSTF.

12.The estimated cashflow is as follows -

$ ' 000

13.CP in consultation with DEMS will be responsible for the implementation of the project through normal tendering in early 1998 for works to be completed by mid-1999.

Recurrent cost

14.We estimate that the annually recurrent maintenance cost of the proposed system will be $2.98 million. This will be partly offset by savings of $1.05 million being the maintenance cost of the existing system. The net additional recurrent expenditure arising from the proposal will therefore be $1.93 million a year.


15.The sensor cable system on the boundary fence is an effective device to assist the Police in maintaining vigilant control of the land boundary. The system is connected to three control suites along the boundary, namely Lok Ma Chau, Sha Tau Kok and Ta Kwu Ling. It has proven to be useful in detecting illegal immigrants over the years.

16.Given the importance of maintaining the integrity of our land boundary, S for S has undertaken in his Policy Programmes, which underpin the Chief Executive ' s 1997 Policy Address, that Government will improve Police capability in preventing illegal immigration by upgrading the land boundary fence.

Security Bureau
November 1997