Checks to be increased on police complaints system

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 01 September, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 01 September, 1999, 12:00am

A police watchdog is to increase checks on the force's complaints system.

It said nine visits to monitor work of the Complaints Against Police Office (CAPO) had been made in the past two years - when nearly 6,000 complaints were made.

The Security Bureau has appointed 29 lay observers to help the 19 Independent Police Complaints Council members who are said to be too busy to conduct visits.

Under the expanded scheme, council members and lay observers are each expected to conduct two to three observations a year.

Special adviser to the council Justein Wong Chun said it had been difficult for members with full-time jobs to conduct the observations, which could take several hours or half a day.

Secretary for the council Alfred Wong Wai-kin said: 'We are trying to establish a roster system so that whenever there is an urgent need for observers to monitor a CAPO interview, such as a death in custody case, someone is on duty.' Under the expanded scheme, observers will for the first time be allowed to monitor interviews by police officers on minor complaint cases which can be resolved informally.

While observers will not be allowed to interrupt CAPO's interviews, they will be required to compile a report on their observations and recommendations to the council.

Police Commissioner Eddie Hui Ki-on said he had told all officers they must co-operate with the observers.