Bare-all officers reprimanded

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 10 August, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 10 August, 1996, 12:00am

More than half the junior police officers accused of posing nude as part of a bogus gigolo scam have been 'severely reprimanded'.

They confessed in internal force disciplinary hearings, it has been revealed.

It is understood the punishment could see some of them put on 'warning of dismissal'.

The remainder of the 55 accused of stripping off for the camera, who pleaded not guilty, will now be called in by Senior Superintendent Herbert Au Hok-lam to give evidence in their defence.

According to Assistant Commissioner of Police Personnel, Angus Stevenson-Hamilton, a severe reprimand bars the officers from promotion for three years and could lead to a 'warning of dismissal'.

Mr Au, assigned to carry out the probe after the seizure last year of 5,000 photographs showing officers in various stages of undress, has declined to give exact figures on those who pleaded guilty and not guilty.

But he says of those who pleaded guilty, the majority have been severely reprimanded, although 'a number' of cases have been referred to senior police management for further consideration.

Force rules in these circumstances allow punishments ranging from a caution through to compulsory retirement and dismissal.

Mr Au would not say whether the guilty pleas were referred to a higher level because of the types and vulgarity of the poses in which the officers concerned were photographed.

It is understood none of the officers was paid to pose, and claims they could make money as gigolos as a result were thrown into doubt when it was discovered the owner of the photographs, a businessman in his mid-40s, was using them for his sexual gratification.

The pictures were seized in a police raid on the businessman's Happy Valley home last year.