Appendix II

Subcommittee on the Police Management Review
Concerns raised by members on reports of
the Police Management Review

Programme Area One
Maintenance of Law and Order

Report No. 2/92 Land Regions, Districts and Division

(Uniform Branch Duties)

The report proposed revised manning scales for the Land Regions, Districts and Divisions. The Subcommittee noted that there was a supplement to the report, and was advised that the supplement contained findings of a review conducted in 1992 to follow-up on an internal review undertaken in 1991.

2. The Subcommittee was concerned with the inequitable distribution of manpower in the three Land Regions as indicated in Annexures 5 and 6 of the report, and pointed out that while the crime/police ratio in the New Territories (NT) increased from 23.6 in 1986 to 33.8 in 1992, the police/population ratio over the same period decreased from 239 to 208. The Administration advised in response that the moving of population into the NT had increased police commitments in the region, but that the Force was aware of the need to flexibly deploy staff; Regional, District and Divisional Commanders would use their discretion to cope with specific demands. The Administration affirmed that the situation had since improved.

3. As regards the concern on the shortfall in establishment to man new formations in NT North, the Administration advised that the formations concerned were built at a time when the civil service was experiencing zero growth but assured the Subcommittee that situations had since improved.

Report No. 2/93 Dangerous Drugs Police Constables

4. The Administration confirmed that recommendations in the report, which were concerned mainly with changes to the Force’s dangerous drugs exhibit handling procedures, had been implemented in all Regions.

Report No. 3/93 Divisional and Sub-Divisional Cell Guards

5. The Subcommittee was informed that on the basis of a Cell Guard Pilot Scheme launched in the Shatin, Shau Mau Ping and Sham Shui Po Divisions which was considered a success and which enabled formation commanders to re-deploy officers previously working as cell guards to duties of higher priorities, all formations had been installed with the new equipment by February 1996.

6. In view of two successful suicide cases during the trial period, the Subcommittee was not convinced that the pilot scheme was successful and urged the Force to conduct a critical examination of the viability of the scheme. The Administration advised that there was no direct correlation between the suicides and the keeping of prisoners in the unguarded cells, and that the presence of a cell guard could neither stop nor deter an attempt of suicide. The Subcommittee did not find the situation acceptable and was of the view that more stringent measures should be in place to minimise future mishaps. The Subcommittee considered that the scheme should be thoroughly examined.

Report No. 6/93 Divisional and Sub-divisional Station Guards

7. The Subcommittee took note of the Administration’s advice that a pilot project would be launched in the Shatin Station and the Kowloon East Operational Base at Ngau Tau Kok to examine the feasibility of using technology to provide an effective level of security at police stations, and that Force-wide implementation of the proposed system would only be effected if the pilot scheme proved successful.

Report No 4/94 Regional Command and Control Centres

8. The Subcommittee expressed concern on the structure and operation of the Regional Command and Control Centres (RCCC) and also enquired about the establishment of the proposed contingency team.

9. The Administration advised that each RCCC was manned by four teams of staff each headed by a Duty Controller, working on a three-shift basis to provide 24-hour service to the Region. Each RCCC comprised one Supervisors Console, one Traffic Cluster, one ‘999’ Suite and several District Console Clusters. Under the ‘999’ calls systems, there were 16 lines in Hong Kong, 17 lines in Kowloon and 19 lines in the NT Regions. In the event that all lines were engaged, a recorded telephone message would be activated advising callers to hold their lines until the calls were answered. As regards the proposed contingency team, it would comprise two Sergeants and two Police Constables to cope with sudden increases of workload in case of serious incidents.

Appendix III

Subcommittee on the Police Management Review
Concerns raised by members on reports of
the Police Management Review

Programme Area Two
Prevention and Detection of Crime

Report No. 2/92 Land Regions, Districts and Divisions (Crime Duties)

Observations on this report have been outlined in Appendix II under Report No 2/92.

Report No. 14/93 Criminal Records Bureau

2. The Subcommittee agreed with the recommendations in the report for computerising the functions of the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and was in support of their early implementation. The Administration however advised that owing to the considerable cost implications, the recommendations were still being examined with a view to possibly incorporating the proposed enhancements into the existing CRB’s system and those proposed in the Information Technology Strategy and arriving at interim solutions. The Subcommittee felt a need to follow up on progress and asked for the provision of periodic reports by the Administration to keep track of developments.

3. The Subcommittee was also concerned with a possible reduction in manpower upon computerisation and the training of staff to tie in with the computerisation programme. The Administration assured that any surplus staff would be re-deployed to the front-line and that no problem with the training of staff was envisaged.

Report No. 15/93 Forensic Pathology Section

4. The Subcommittee considered it necessary to regularise laboratory duties performed by staff in the Department of Health and Police officers, and was in support of the recommendation in the report for disciplined services posts in the Forensic Pathology Section to be civilianised and transferred to the Department of Health. Apart from rectifying the basic question of mismatch of jobs, civilianisation would also achieve a second objective of releasing more officers for front-line duties. The Subcommittee therefore urged the Administration to take up the issue urgently and initiate contact with the Department of Health to devise a feasible implementation plan.

5. In response to the request, the Administration advised that the matter had been taken up with the Director of Health who agreed in principle with the recommendation and had suggested the creation of a new grade of Forensic Pathologist Assistant to replace the disciplined posts; the proposal was being further considered by the Administration. The Subcommittee recommended that action be expedited and that regular reports be provided to facilitate monitoring of developments.

Report No. 16/93 Interpol Bureau

6. With the trend for crimes to become internationalised, members were of the view that the Interpol was assuming a very important role in the liaison with China; they sought confirmation from the Administration on the early implementation of recommendations in the report for providing additional resources in the organisation and structure of the Interpol Bureau.

7. The Administration advised in response that the staffing proposals were, subject to availability of resources, due for implementation in 1997-98 or thereafter, and that redepolyment of staff had been arranged in the meantime to meet operational needs. As the redeployment of staff was only a temporary measure, the Subcommittee saw a need for the position to be regularised and the staffing proposals to be realised as soon as possible.

8. The Subcommittee was also concerned with the current chain of command between the Staff Officer (Crime Interpol) and the Staff Officer (Crime Interpol/General) since the latter was under the command of the former despite both posts being ranked at the Superintendent level. The Administration advised that the areas of responsibilities of the two posts were different and no problem was envisaged before the former post was upgraded to Senior Superintendent. As regards the Subcommittee’s enquiry on the saving of resources that might be brought about as a result of the transfer of sovereignty, the Administration assured that the objectives and activities of the Bureau would remain largely unchanged and that there would not be any savings overall.

Report No. 17/93 Narcotics Bureau

9. The report recommended a strengthening of manpower in the Narcotics Bureau and the splitting of the Research and Administration Group into two entities. In response to the Subcommittee on the lack of a quantitative analysis in the report to justify the proposed increase in manpower, the Administration explained that the nature of work of the Bureau was different from those of other formations in that the work involved was proactive and self-generating and that surveillance was a manpower intensive area of police work. As such, it was difficult to come up with a truly objective criteria in determining the appropriate manning level in intelligence gathering and surveillance work.

10. On the rationale for standardising the manning ratio of various teams in the Operations Group, the Administration advised that this was in accordance with a broadbanding principle as the teams were undertaking broadly similar duties and the uniform structure would cater for future inter-team deployment.

11. In view of the enactment of the Organised and Serious Crimes Ordinance, the Subcommittee was concerned with the upsurge in workload of the Financial Investigation Group and enquired if the current staff complement was sufficient. While acknowledging that there had been a marked increase in the number of disclosures from financial institutions on a wide range of offences since enactment of the Ordinance, the Administration held the view that it was difficult to judge at that stage whether manpower was adequate; the demand had accordingly been met through re-deployment. It nevertheless undertook to monitor the situation closely. The Subcommittee saw a need to follow-up on the outcome of the matter.

Report No. 18/93 Ballistics and Firearms Identification Bureau

12. The Subcommittee noted that there were arguments for and against the proposal for the Government Laboratory to take over the work of the Ballistics and Firearms Identification Bureau. In response, the Administration advised that there was a need for the Force to retain its own in-house specialty in firearms, large weapons and ammunition; there might also be difficulties in sending staff from the Government Laboratory to be on the scene of a riot to perform duties. As regards comparison with the experience in the United Kingdom, the Subcommittee was informed that the need and practices in the 47 Police Forces in the UK varied and that the situation in the UK was dissimilar to that in Hong Kong.

13. After deliberations, the Subcommittee supported the recommendation in the report to maintain the status quo of the Bureau and related staffing proposals.

Report No. 19/93 Identification Bureau

14. The objective of the Identification Bureau was primarily in the keeping of criminal records, the majority of which were recordable offences for which fingerprints were taken; the issue of Certificates of No Criminal Conviction (CNCC) for assisting Hong Kong citizens in applying for emigration was also part of the services of the Bureau. As the issue of CNCCs might jeopardize citizens applications for emigration, members were concerned with the information listed therein, in particular those relating to certain minor but recordable offences. The Administration shared members’ concern on the need for accurate and precise information in CNCCs. It advised that a CNCC would list such information as the date of recordable offences, the result of the court case and the case reference number. The Administration added that the consulate would be able to judge the seriousness of the offence from the penalty indicated in the CNCC when processing the application for emigration.

15. The Subcommittee was also assured that there were standardized procedures within the Police Force to govern the handling of offences, the institution of prosecutions, and the taking of fingerprints. The development of an enhanced Computer Assisted Fingerprint Identification System within the Force had also facilitated identification processes.

16. In connection with the election of Legislative Council Members, the Subcommittee suggested that rules on election be amended to stipulate the provision of fingerprints and that the consent of the candidates be sought to allow the Police Force to provide relevant information direct to the Registration and Electoral Office.

Report No. 20/93 Crime Prevention Bureau

17. One of the functions of the Crime Prevention Bureau was in conducting security surveys on commercial premises. In response to the Subcommittee on the basis in conducting such surveys, the Administration informed that there was a proper and rational basis for security surveys and that the public’s interest for a safer environment was the overriding consideration. The Administration also confirmed that an officer redeployed to the Bureau had been providing crime prevention advice during the design stages of buildings.

18. The Subcommittee questioned the need for the Bureau to maintain the static display facilities considering the resources involved, and sought information on the attendance rate. The Administration advised that the display consisted of a wide range of security system products which would on the one hand facilitate users’ choice and on the other ensure good interaction with the security industry. The Subcommittee however remained of the view that the need to maintain the display should be critically examined.

19. On the proposal in the report for creating a new section to deal with computer crime, the Administration confirmed that the section had been set up through the redeployment of staff with specialist knowledge in computers.

Report No. 21/93 Commercial Crime Bureau

20. The focus of the Commercial Crime Bureau was on complex commercial crime cases and as such was assuming an important area of Police functions. The Subcommittee was concerned with the lack of co-ordination between the Bureau and district police offices, and cited cases which had been referred by the Bureau to the district police offices. The latter unfortunately rejected such cases and advised clients concerned to pursue the cases through civil action. In reply, the Administration affirmed that commercial crime cases could be handled at the various levels of region, district and division. The Bureau would concentrate on more complex cases the upper ceiling of which was in the region of $5 million, while less complex cases would be handled by other police offices. The Administration added that it might sometimes be difficult to judge at the outset whether a case was a commercial crime or a civil case.

21. The Subcommittee also expressed concern on the apparent overlap of responsibilities between the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) and the Police Force in the investigation of cases where it had been established that no corruption was involved. The Administration advised that in respect of the cases concerned, there was a need for the ICAC to initiate investigation to be followed by close co-ordination and compromise between the ICAC and the Force. The Administration nevertheless took note of members’ views on the need to clarify the responsibilities of the Force and, at the request of the Subcommittee, had reflected this concern to the ICAC.

22. In the wake of recent upsurges in cases involving forged bank notes, the Subcommittee enquired about the sufficiency of staffing resources in the Counterfeit and Forgery Division. In addition to pointing out the uncommon feature for the head of the Division to be engaged in daily operational work, the Subcommittee suggested that Police officers below the rank of Chief Inspector could be deployed on educational duties, and that the Hong Kong Monetary Authority could help in the work of the Division by conducting educational seminars for big commercial organizations. The Administration agreed that there should be separate expertise in the areas of examination and operation in the Division, and confirmed that plans were in hand to increase manpower in the Division in 1996-97.

23. The Subcommittee held the view that the level of penalty for crimes involving the illegal use of mobile phone circuit was insufficient taking into consideration the seriousness of the offence, the staffing resources involved and the social damage caused. The Administration advised that sentencing was basically a decision of the court but nevertheless agreed to reflect members’ concern on the level of penalties to the Attorney General.

Report No. 22/93 Organised Crime and Triad Group

24. The report proposed the splitting of the Organised Crime and Triad Group into the Organised Crime and Triad Bureau (OCTB) and the Criminal Intelligence Bureau (CIB). Upon enquiry by members, the Administration explained that the purpose was to streamline the core of functions between the Bureaux with a view to strengthening the Force’s surveillance and intelligence gathering capability and allowing the Force to combat serious, violent and syndicated crimes more effectively.

25. To follow-up on a proposal for a review of the structure and staffing of the OCTB, the Subcommittee enquired about the time-table involved but was advised that the review would only take place after the impact of the Organised and Serious Crimes Ordinance and the full effect of the split of the OCTG was known. As regards the CIB, the Administration explained that the proposed increase in manpower would enable the Bureau to cope with operational demand and enhance its surveillance capability in major syndicates.

Report No. 23/93 Crime Wing Headquarters

26. In response to the Subcommittee on the setting up of the Force Witness Protection Unit and the need for a manning scale review in the wake of the enactment of the Organised and Serious Crimes Ordinance, the Administration confirmed that the unit had been formed comprising a main unit complemented by a cadre serving as a reserve. As there was no direct linkage between the Ordinance and the demand for witness protection, no plans for a staffing review were in the pipeline.

Report No. 3/94 District Anti-Triad Squads and Regional Anti-Triad Units

27. The Administration advised that a flexible three-tiered structure was in place in the fight against triads and crimes and that duplication of efforts amongst these units would be minimised through enhanced co-ordination. These included: the Organised Crime and Triad Group at headquarters level for conducting intelligence-based operations against organised triad groups and prominent crime syndicates; the Regional Anti-Triad Unit for conducting proactive operations against the middle management level of triad operations such as blackmail and extortion; and the District Anti-Triad Section for taking action against known local triad establishments and triad infiltration in schools. The Administration further affirmed that Dedicated Anti-Triad School Squads were commissioned to establish and maintain close liaison with schools to cultivate and collect intelligence from staff and students to identify early symptoms of triad activity in schools.

28. The Subcommittee made reference to the high triad-related crime rates in the Tuen Mun and Yuen Long districts and enquired if this was associated with the inadequate establishment level of the units concerned. While accepting that the existing establishment levels were inadequate to conduct the range of functions expected, the Administration advised that high policing priority in these districts had been accorded and that the shortfall had been covered through flexible re-deployment of manpower resources. The Administration also agreed to give priority to the implementation of recommendations in the report in view of growing public concern over triad activities.

Appendix IV

Subcommittee on the Police Management Review
Concerns raised by members on reports of
the Police Management Review

Programme Area Three
Enlistment of Public Support for the Force

Report No. 25/93 Complaints and Internal Investigations Branch

The Subcommittee urged the Administration to expedite the legislative time-table for making the Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC) a statutory body. They also sought confirmation on whether other recommendations relating to the appointment of a lay observer to both the IPCC and the Complaints Against Police Office (CAPO) would be implemented, and if a person outside the Force would be appointed to the CAPO investigating teams.

2. In response, the Administration advised that the draft Bill for making the IPCC a statutory body would be introduced into LegCo as soon as clearance was obtained from the IPCC. (The IPCC Bill had since been introduced into the LegCo on 10 July 1996.) As regards the IPCC Observer Scheme which had the support of the Security Branch, the Police Force and the IPCC, the proposal was being considered by the IPCC. On the appointment of persons outside the Force to the CAPO investigating teams, the Administration explained that complaints were best investigated by Police officers who possessed the necessary investigative expertise and knowledge of police practices and procedures; non-Police personnel who were not conversant with investigative procedures might not facilitate investigations.

3. The Subcommittee also raised concern on sub-judice complaints cases where complaints had been made against the Police relating to matters likely to be aired before a court in connection with a charge or summons. The Administration assured the Subcommittee that proper sub-judice complaints procedures were in place and that the overall number of sub-judice cases was small. Members were worried that officers being complained against might exploit the procedures, and suggested the formulation of a set of guidelines to safeguard against the disclosure of a complainant’s statement to the officers concerned. With a view to putting across suggestions on the subject, members sought a meeting with the Review Officer who was conducting a review on the CAPO procedures for increasing public confidence in the system. This request, as well as a subsequent request for meeting with the Chairman of the IPCC, was unfortunately turned down. The Subcommittee was gravely disappointed with such a response.

4. On the Subcommittee’s concern on the availability of an informal mechanism to settle minor complaints, the Administration advised that minor complaints arising mainly from misunderstanding and which did not require full investigations could be resolved through informal resolution and that officers at the rank of Superintendent or above would act as a Conciliating Officer.

5. The Administration also confirmed that in order to enhance awareness on complaints prevention, a Complaints Prevention Committee was formed in 1992 to monitor complaint trends, identify areas likely to attract complaints, review procedures, make recommendations and formulate action plans.

Report No. 33/93 Public Relations Branch

6. The Administration advised that the report had almost been adopted in its entirety. Apart from the recommendation to create one Information Officer post in the Community Relations Bureau which had been rejected on the ground that it was non-media related, all the other twenty recommendations had either been fully implemented (eighteen), partially implemented (one), or agreed (one).

7. The Subcommittee was concerned about the future direction of the Junior Police Call (JPC). The Administration assured that every effort would be made to maintain its initiative. The Administration advised that the establishment of more school clubs was agreed. The number of school club had increased by 30% over the past few years. The recommendation in the study that JPC units could in the longer-term be incorporated into other youth organisations was not adopted as it would amount to disbanding the JPC and losing its identity.

8. The Subcommittee also expressed worry that there might be insufficient resources to maintain the JPC clubhouses, prompting the need for outside donations, and as a result, having to compromise on the scheme’s intended objectives. The Administration assured that while JPC did work together with other organisations for special events and sometimes resort to donations from sponsors, JPC had adequate manpower and resources to maintain its present strength and in achieving its objectives.

Report No. 34/93 Service Quality Wing

9. The report recommended the creation of the Service Quality Wing which was subsequently established in 1995 and had since been responsible for promoting an awareness and understanding of the service quality strategy within the Force.

10. In view of the relatively abstract nature of work involved, the Subcommittee expressed concern on the practical difficulties encountered in measuring police service quality. The Administration also shared this concern and in this connection had commissioned an external consultancy firm to conduct a public opinion poll on overall Police services. These might be followed by customer satisfaction surveys targeted at persons who had come into contact with Police officers. The Subcommittee urged the Administration to increase public involvement in the formulation of service quality strategy, and the Administration undertook to consider this view.

11. The Subcommittee noted upon enquiry that a number of posts recommended for creation were still outstanding, and this had affected plans for embarking on efficiency studies aimed at identifying areas with scope for improvement. The Subcommittee urged the Administration to accord priority in providing a full staff complement in particular to the Efficiency Studies Division, and also to draw up effective yardsticks for measuring the efficiency of the Division.

Appendix V

Subcommittee on the Police Management Review
Concerns raised by members on reports of
the Police Management Review

Programme Area Four
Reduction of Traffic Accidents

Report No. 10/93 Traffic Formation

The Subcommittee was surprised to note that resources for the creation of the proposed new posts had to be further justified. The Administration explained that as the study was made three years ago, circumstances and priorities might have changed over time. In view of the huge financial implications, it was necessary to decide on the most pressing areas in which new resources should be allocated. The Subcommittee requested for a report covering efforts and progress made in implementing the recommendations in the report.

2. As regards the problem of illegal road racing, the Administration advised that the Force was making every effort to tackle the problem which had become less serious in recent years. The Subcommittee suggested that the existing legal provisions relating to the issue be reviewed and higher penalties be imposed for related offences so as to achieve a desirable deterrent effect.

3. The Subcommittee was informed that a feasibility study on privatisation of parking metres enforcement had been conducted and privatisation was agreed within the Force. The Transport Branch was examining the matter.

Appendix VI

Subcommittee on the Police Management Review
Concerns raised by members on reports of
the Police Management Review

Programme Area Five
Field of Operations

Report No. 1/92 Police Tactical Unit, Special Duties and

Field Patrol Detachment

The Administration confirmed that the recommendations in the report relating to the Police Tactical Unit (PTU) and the Special Duties Unit (SDU) had been implemented.

2. The PTU was responsible for internal security and other day-to-day operational functions. In addressing members’ concern on the adequacy of the PTU establishment in coping with territory-wide disturbances in view of the diminishing number of British Forces stationed in Hong Kong and the vulnerable and uncertain situations associated with the transfer of sovereignty, the Administration assured that the existing staff complement was sufficient and that no difficulties in the mobilisation of PTU companies was envisaged.

3. Staff of the SDU were on 24-hour standby to assist in such cases as operations against armed criminals, raiding premises, search dives to locate victims, rescue of flood sufferers and counter-terrorist duties. In view of the demanding nature of work performed, the Subcommittee was concerned with the retention problem and urged the Administration to provide incentives to attract officers to join and stay with the SDU. While acknowledging the retention problem, the Administration advised that staff posted to the Unit were already in receipt of job-related allowances. It nevertheless undertook to consider the Subcommittee’s suggestion.

4. In response to the Subcommittee, the Administration confirmed that the recommendation in the report for amalgamating the Field Patrol Unit (FTU), which was responsible for policing the border, with the Frontier District had been implemented. As regards the Subcommittee’s concern on the increasing number of illegal immigrants arriving Hong Kong by sea, the Administration was of the view that the existing staff complement, including those of the Marine Police, was adequate for coping with the situation. The Administration concurred with the Subcommittee’s suggestion that more advanced equipment should be used to track down on illegal immigrants, and advised that the Administration was investing heavily in such equipment.

Report No. 26/92 Police Dog Unit

5. The Subcommittee was informed that apart from a small number of recommendations which were still being examined, all the other recommendations of the report would be fully implemented by 1998.

Report No. 3/92 Marine Police Region (Step I)

Report No. 38/93 Marine Police Region (Step II)

6. The Subcommittee expressed concern that the Marine Western Waters District had been a politically sensitive area where there had been cases of incursions by Chinese patrol vessels attracted by smuggling activities as well as cases of robberies and illegal immigration and questioned the measures taken by the Marine Police to tackle the problem. The Administration explained that at present 400 to 500 vessels were checked every day. When conducting stop-and-search, any vessel which had no agent or cargo on board would be refused entry, and if the vessel tried to enter in a second time, the people on board would be arrested. As regards incursions by Chinese security vessels, the policy was to try to diffuse the situation through negotiation when such cases arose. Co-operation with the Chinese authorities had been improving and there had not been a case since March 1995.

7. The Subcommittee was also concerned whether any improvement had been made in tackling the problems of illegal immigrants and smuggling activities in Deep Bay. Admitting that Deep Bay had been a popular crossing route for illegal immigrants, the Administration advised that heavy patrol with water jet bonds was conducted by the Marine Police everynight. Arrangements were made to fly members of the special border patrol squads via helicopters to loosely controlled areas in Mai Po to undertake anti-illegal immigration duties.

8. Another concern was raised on whether the present enforcement activities of the Marine Police were adequate to deal with the illegal activities occurring within Hong Kong waters, having regard to the size of the coast line at the border and the heavy traffic there. The Administration advised that in addition to divisional patrol launches, inshore patrol crafts specifically designed for carrying out inspections at cargo handling basins, typhoon shelters, etc. were also used. A request for additional funding for 1997/98 to acquire additional numbers of these crafts had been made. Apart from patrol and policing at sea, efforts had been made to tackle illegal activities at source through close liaison and co-operation with the Chinese authorities. The Administration assured the Subcommittee that the strength of the Marine Region was adequate to continue discharging its role of law enforcement in Hong Kong waters and preserving the integrity of the boundary after 1997. Continued efforts would be made to improving the relationship and co-operation with the security forces in China.

9. A visit to the Marine Region by the Subcommittee to view the range of equipment on board police launches and how it was used to intercept and search target vessels was arranged on 12 July 1996.

Report No. 24/93 Licensing Branch

10. The Subcommittee noted the Administration’s advice that contrary to the recommendation of the report to delete certain posts, the Force had submitted a proposal to create three Clerical Assistant posts on the grounds that computerisation of the Licensing Office had lagged behind and the office had to cater for additional workload. The Administration envisaged that the increase in workload would fall in area of Arms Licence and the processing of permit applications arising from the enactment of the Security and Guarding Services Ordinance on 1 June 1996.

11. The Administration advised that there would be on-going review of the office’s manpower, in particular the adequacy of clerical support. The Subcommittee supported that additional temporary staff should be employed where the need arose.

Report No. 36/93 Support Wing

12. The Administration confirmed that consequent to the adoption of recommendation that responsibility for ensuring adequate provision for crowd control during major organised functions be passed from Support Bureau to Operations Wing, the Operation Wing was responsible for all policies regarding the policing commitments arising from these specific events, while the Support Wing dealt with other general policy matters related to the Public Order Ordinance.

Appendix VII

Subcommittee on the Police Management Review
Concerns raised by members on reports of
the Police Management Review

Other Reports

Report No 31/93 Review of the Force Leave and Training Reserves

This report recommended the creation of 1,498 posts, the majority of which being at Police Constable level, to provide coverage for officers attending training courses or on vacation leave. As views were divided within the Administration on the recommendations in the report, and in consideration of the significant impact which the recommendations would have on the maintenance of law and order in Hong Kong, the Subcommittee discussed the report at length during a number of meetings. The report was by far one of the most controversial ones examined.

2. Beat coverage was a major area of the Force’s activities, and 5,000 Police Constables out of the total establishment of 27,000 were on such duties in 1995. According to the Police Study Team, insufficient leave and training reserves would lead to an estimated shortfall of 6% in the overall establishment, or 9.2% in terms of patrol coverage. The shortfall had already resulted in low beat coverage in all districts generally, but the New Territories North region where coverage had only been 53.8% for the morning shift, 47.3% for the evening shift and 40.1% for the night shift, was particularly hard hit. The Team had accordingly recommended the creation of the 1,498 posts in order that the operational effectiveness of the Force would not be seriously depleted. Of these, 672 posts would provide coverage for Police officers on front-line opertional duties. Representatives from the Security Branch however advised that while the main recommendations had been endorsed in principle, there were reservations on the basis of calculation and on some of the recommendations made.

3. The Subcommittee was deeply concerned on two fronts. Firstly, the low beat coverage had a serious adverse effect on the maintenance of law and order in Hong Kong. Secondly, the inadequate staffing situation was contrary to previous claims by the former Secretary for Security and the Commissioner of Police that the Force had sufficient manpower. The Subcommittee’s worry was further aggravated by the claim of a representative from the Security Branch during a meeting that there was no urgent need for the posts. Although the Administration subsequently provided data to show that beat coverage had improved since the review was undertaken, and it also confirmed that officers would not be deprived of training opportunities despite the manpower situation, the Subcommittee remained seriously concerned on the lack of progress on the proposed creation of these posts, and during the meetings in May and June 1995 pressed vigorously for early implementation of the recommendations.

4. In response to the Subcommittee’s request, the Administration at the meeting in November 1995 announced that 129 Police Constable posts would be created in 1996-97 through internal savings as the first phase of the proposal, and that conscious efforts would be made to increase the number of Police officers on front line operations. Although the Administration had complied partially with the Subcommittee’s request, the Subcommittee was dissatisfied that only 129 of the 1,498 posts would be created, and that the Administration was unable to give a time-frame for implementing subsequent phases of the proposal. At the Subcommittee’s further request, the Administration undertook to continue discussion within the Administration with a view to agreeing on a mutually acceptable formula for taking the proposal forward, and to report to the Subcommittee in due course.

Report No. 6/92 Force Training Wing

5. The Administration confirmed in response to the Subcommittee that most of the organizational changes recommended in the report had been implemented, except for the transfer of the Information Technology Training and Communications Training Sections to the Training Wing. On the Subcommittee’s concern on training for the relatively large number of officers promoted to the ranks of Superintendent of Police and Chief Inspector, the Administration advised that the frequency of command training courses organized by the Higher Training Bureau would be adjusted to tie in with the need for training such newly promoted officers. The Subcommittee noted that the general standard of training for the Force had been raised considerably since the introduction of mini-ranges and tactical training. The Subcommittee visited the Police Training School on 18 June 1996.

Report No. 29/93 Personnel Wing

6. The Subcommittee noted that there had been three recent proceedings against Police officers in relation to their official duties, and expressed concern on legal representation for these officers. The Force Management was of the view that legal aid should be rendered to these officers, and confirmed that legal aid applications for these cases were under consideration by the Secretary for the Civil Service. In addressing the Subcommittee’s concern on whether unified disciplinary regulations were applied across the board and whether such regulations were compatible with the Bill of Rights Ordinance, the Administration advised that officers of the rank of Superintendent of Police and above were subject to Colonial Regulations while the Police Disciplinary Regulations applied to officers of the rank of Chief Inspector and below. The subject of compatibility with the Ordinance was being discussed with staff associations concerned.

Report No. 37/93 Communications Branch

7. The Subcommittee had no particular views on this report except for expressing concern on the poor quality of the Force’s public address system during crowd control and publicity campaigns. The Administration undertook to conduct a review on the system.

Report No. 39/93 Information Technology Branch

8. The Subcommittee was concerned with the pace with which information technology strategy in the Force was implemented, and was advised by the Administration that a number of application systems had been developed resulting in a significant reduction of processing time. At the request of the Subcommittee, a briefing on the operation of the Major Incident Investigation and Disaster Support System was arranged on 30 May 1996 to facilitate members’ understanding.

Report No. 5/93 Security Wing

9. The Subcommittee was engaged in protracted negotiation with the Administration over the release of this report. When releasing the 41 reports generated from the Police Management Review, the Administration withheld a 42nd report on the Security Wing for the reason that it contained sensitive information on the security of Hong Kong. While noting from the brief prepared by the Administration that the report had recommended retention of the existing organization and command structure, a scaling down of the number of posts in the Wing from 481 to 438, and the possibility for further adjustments in the establishment, the Subcommittee found it difficult to properly discharge LegCo’s role in monitoring Government’s policy and to comment on the appropriateness of the recommendations without actually having sight of the report. The Subcommittee therefore insisted upon the release of the report eversince May 1995.

10. The Administration however held a firm line, and requests from the Subcommittee, the Security Panel and the House Committee were turned down on the same ground by the Secretary for Security and the Governor. The breakthrough came in March 1996 when the Chairman of the Security Panel gave notice to veto the part of the 1996-97 Draft Estimates relating to the Security Wing. The Administration finally acceded to the request and an in-camera briefing on the role and function of the Security Wing was arranged for the Security Panel members on 1 April 1996 to which all other LegCo Members were invited.

Report No. 1/94 Transport Branch, Driving Cadre, Police Driving School

11. The Subcommittee was informed that the transfer of the Police Driving School from the Transport Branch to the Training Wing as recommended in the report had taken place on 1 February 1996. The other recommendations concerning the creation of clerical officers posts and changes in ranks and titles for some of the driving instructors were planned for 1999/2000.

Review of the Top Command Structure of the Royal Hong Kong Police Final Report by Coopers and Lybrand

Outcome of the Review of the Top Command Structure of the Royal Hong Kong Police (The Force’s Response)

12. The Administration advised, in response to the Subcommittee, that most of the recommendations of the review of the top command structure of the Force conducted by Coopers and Lybrand had been accepted and carried out in conjunction with the implementation of the Police Study Team Reports.

13. Based on the recommendations of the Coopers and Lybrand review, the Administration proposed to reorganise the Police top command structure which involved the creation of 11 new posts, offset by the deletion of 15 existing posts. The proposal was submitted to the Establishment Subcommittee of LegCo at its meeting on 9 July 1996, at which some Members raised queries on the justifications for three Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) posts in the Personnel Wing. The Administration had subsequently withdrawn the proposal. The duties of the CSP posts in question were then examined by the Subcommittee. The Subcommittee considered it important to ensure a right balance and division of work between the three CSP posts and that the restructuring should bring about better performance in the discharge of the functions of the Personnel Wing. The Subcommittee suggested the Administration to re-examine its re-organisation proposal in the light of views expressed. The Subcommittee also stressed that the results subsequent to any reorganisation should be critically assessed in due course.

14. The Subcommittee asked whether any measures had been taken to address the concern raised in the Coopers and Lybrand review about the alleged excessive upward flow of information from districts, resulting in wastage of the Force’s efforts. The Administration responded that the "management information system" now operated at the Headquarter’s computerised Command and Control Centre had streamlined much of the information that needed to be channelled to the Commissioner of Police and the top command level. A defined chain of command was necessary for the clear identification of roles and responsibilities. In line with the adopted system of devolved operational policing, the district head of operation would report to the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations) in major operations.

15. The Subcommittee was informed that the recommendation of the Coopers and Lybrand review to allow more autonomy to the districts in managing resources had been accepted. To this end, an experimental yearly allocation of half a million had been devolved to each of the districts and the amount would increase over time. The new department set up to take charge of the Force’s yearly budget and the overall policy of finance matters would provide appropriate training to develop the skills and knowledge of senior officers at the district level in resources management.

Appendix VIII

Subcommittee on the Police Management Review
A List of Reports Not Yet Examined

Report No.











Operations Wings

Civil Wing and Finance Division

Force Catering Section

Force Welfare Branch

Stores Management Division

Planning and Development

Central Illegal Immigration Escort Unit

Auxiliary Headquarters

Management Services Wing Headquarters

Legislative Council Secretariat
12 September 1996

Last Updated on 21 August 1998