For discussion on
29 June 1999
Legislative Council Panel on Security
Review of the Hong Kong Auxiliary Police Force (HKAPF)
At the last Panel meeting held on 10 June 1999, Members raised some points regarding the review of the HKAPF. Members also asked for the amount of savings that could be achieved by implementing the recommendations of the review.
Responses to Members* Points
2. The total savings generated is almost 170m when the establishment of the HKAPF is reduced to 4500 through natural wastage. It is, however, important to bear in mind that the review was not conducted to achieve savings as required under the Enhanced Productivity Programme. The objective of the review is to improve the management and manpower deployment of the HKAPF in the light of changing circumstances. As the regular Police Force is now up to establishment and has sufficient manpower to perform frontline operational duties, there is a need to redefine the role and functions of the HKAPF so that manpower resources are deployed in the most efficient manner.
3. We would also emphasize that as a valuable asset of the Police Force for more than 40 years, the HKAPF will continue to serve the community in a meaningful manner. The Force fully appreciate the dedicated service provided by the Auxiliary Police Force in the past. After the reform, the HKAPF will continue to play an important role in providing support to the regular Police Force. Recruitment of Auxiliary Police officers will be maintained at the rate of 150 per year to ensure that properly motivated and civic-minded people will continue to be recruited.
4. In their redefined role, Auxiliary Police officers mainly serve as a trained manpower reserve to support the regular Police Force in crowd management operations during major public events and festivals. In addition, their main functions in an internal security situation include key points protection, manning the command and control centres, Police station defence and consular premises protection.
5. Since the implementation of some of the recommendations in April 1999, neither the normal operation of the Police Force nor any Police operations have been adversely affected. District Commanders have not reported any difficulties in their daily manpower deployment.
6. The Committee on the review of the HKAPF will closely oversee the implementation of the recommendations arising from the review. A six-month trial on the proposed integration of Auxiliary Police officers with regular Police Force has started on 1 June 1999. A review will be conducted upon the completion of the trial. The Force Management will continue its dialogue with the HKAPF over the implementation of the remaining recommendations.