on 5 November 1998
Legislative Council Panel on Security
Service Culture: Improvement to Police Stations
This paper informs Members of proposed service improvements to Police stations and other operational facilities as part of the Police's customer service improvement measures.Background
Force Strategy on Quality of Service
2. Since 1994, a service quality approach has been adopted by the Force management with a view to bringing about a change in culture and working attitudes within the Force. Following consideration of a series of research findings, the Commissioner of Police formally launched the Force Strategy on Quality of Service in March 1995. Its main objective is to develop a Force culture which involves officers of all levels in continually improving the service quality in terms of effectiveness, efficiency and economy to meet the expectations of both internal and external "customers". To further enhance the quality of services provided to the public, apart from establishing an enabling structure, system and strategy, it is important that every member of the Police Force is committed to building a quality culture with a strong sense of common purpose and shared values throughout the Force.Consultancy Support Project
3. In line with the Force Strategy on Quality of Service, a Consultancy Support Project was commissioned in October 1997 to examine ways to further improve the quality of services provided to the public. The project initially focused on the delivery of report room services and was later extended as appropriate to crime office, property office and other areas involving direct contact between the Police and the public. Its main objectives are to meet the service needs and expectations of the public and to facilitate every member of the Police Force in providing a good quality of services to the public. North Point Police Station was chosen as the pilot station to test a number of customer service improvement initiatives with a view to developing a benchmark for the overall service quality standards at all Police stations.The improvement plan
4. Based on the findings of some previous studies, such as the Hong Kong Island Report Room Study and the Customer Satisfaction Survey, and the views of officers working at the station, a number of service improvement measures were drawn up and implemented at the North Point Police station in early 1998. These include -
- introduction of a reception service in the report room;
- adopting a number tag system for more effective prioritization of report room "customers";
- use of self-report forms which are specially designed to facilitate the public to report cases;
- reports by fax;
- requiring all report room staff to attend basic customer service training and to wear personalized name tags;
- publication of customer information sheets on common crime reports;
- modification of the physical setting of the Police station, e.g. installing partitions in the report room to protect the privacy of the people making use of the services; and
- improving the working environment, e.g. enhancing the meeting/conference facilities for the staff working in the station; and providing air-conditioning in changing areas.
The overall approach to the North Point project is customer-focused with a view to enhancing Police performance and improving its service to the community. Apart from the physical modifications, improvements of service attitude and delivery process are important features. The objective is to set the Force standard for delivery of customer service into the next century.
5. The pilot scheme is well-received by the public as well as the Police officers working in the station. Based on the experience gained, It is planned to extend the service improvement initiatives piloted at North Point Police Station to other parts of the Force so that the public will benefit from the changes in culture, processes and service attitude in the Force.
6. Based on the findings of the pilot scheme at North Point Police Station, the following items have been identified as major areas for the longer term and strategic improvement -
- processes and procedures involved;
- staff's competency, attitude and behaviour;
- staff's training requirements;
- application of technology in daily work; and
- physical environment.
7. As regards the development of service attitude, based on the basic customer service training provided to the Police officers working at North Point Police Station, further training will be designed and incorporated into the standard Force training programme to improve the manner and response of officers to meet different "customer" needs. Reporting procedures will also be further streamlined. In addition, to further develop the physical improvements tested in the North Point project, a new design has been devised for the report room and other areas of the station that are frequently visited by the public, such as the Property Office and Miscellaneous Enquiries Office. The objective is to create an open and user-friendly environment in these areas. The new design improvements have been applied to the North Point, Sau Mau Ping and Sha Tin stations. The refurbishment works are expected to be completed by March 1999.
8. In view of the satisfactory results of the pilot scheme at North Point Police Station, it is planned to implement the improvement proposal in the other 54 existing Police stations in the next three years and in other operational facilities including the Regional Operational Bases, Marine Bases and Police Posts as far as practicable thereafter.
9.In summary, the major scope of physical improvement works to be undertaken is as follows -
- a complete remodelling of the report room that includes furnishings, fixtures and fittings. Emphasis will be placed on creating and promoting a warmer, more open and user-friendly environment with enhanced quality of services. A barrier-free environment for the disabled will also be incorporated;
- provision of better facilities to the public, e.g. installing touch screen computers in the report room as information providers, and providing telephones for the use of the public;
- remodelling the ancillary areas of a Police station that are frequently visited by the public in a similar fashion to the report room. Such areas include the Property Office, the Miscellaneous Enquiries Office, the Police Community Relations Office and the Crime Enquiries Offices;
- enhancing the conference and meeting facilities for the staff working in the station with a view to providing them with easier access to reference materials and an improved environment for staff meetings and group discussion; and
- improvements to changing rooms including installation of air-conditioning.
10. In conjunction with the programme of implementing the improvement/modification works in the Police stations and other operational facilities, it is also proposed to install an automated security system to monitor and control the pedestrian and vehicular access in these facilities. Such security duties are at present undertaken by Station Guards which are established Police Constable (PC) posts. Installing such security systems can release about 100 PC posts to perform front-line operational duties.
11. Pilot schemes to replace Station Guards with automated security systems were conducted at Ngau Tau Kok and Sha Tin Police Stations in 1997 and have subsequently been reviewed. A total of six PC posts were released as a result. The review concluded that the proposal could generate not only staff savings but also strengthen the security of the facilities concerned. It is therefore planned to implement the proposal in other stations. To minimize disruption to the public and police operations, installation works will be conducted as part of the overall improvement works mentioned above as far as possible.Consultation
12. The Fight Crime Committee visited the North Point Police Station in May 1998 and was impressed by the service improvement measures implemented.
Implementation of the improvement plan
13. We are working on the implementation details of the improvement plan and will seek funding approval from PWSC in due course.