Officers hit out at parades in court
By S. Y. YUE
PRESSURE is mounting on the police force to stop officers being forced to attend identification parades in open court.
The staff side of the Senior Consultative Committee formed by four police staff associations will discuss the issue tomorrow.
Police officers say the procedure is humiliating and makes them look like criminals.
Both the Local Inspectors' Association (LIA) and the Junior Police Officers' Association (JPOA) have received complaints from members about their ''insulting'' experiences in court.
Officers are angry because they are required to stand in an identification parade in open court if a defendant makes a complaint of assault against them.
Both associations wrote to the Commissioner of Police, Li Kwan-ha, to complain about the demoralising effect of the procedure on their members.
The LIA in its letter described the parades as an abuse of the law.
And the JPOA claimed the practice undermined the morale of the police.
''It will seriously undermine police authority and dignity in the upholding of law and order, and it is also a great blow to the morale of the force as a whole,'' the JPOA said in the letter.
''Moreover, defendants may abuse this arrangement by making wrong allegations in order to delay the trial and to shame the police. It will only waste the time and resources of the officers.'' The JPOA's concerns were echoed by another police staff association, the Superintendents' Association, although it has not received any formal complaints.
John Hui Chiu-yin, of the association, said in a letter to the JPOA that members were annoyed by the practice and hoped the matter would be resolved in the near future.
The force management, in reply to the two associations, said the Commissioner of Police was concerned about the issue.
It said the Deputy Director of Crime had addressed the Director of Prosecutions John Wood on the subject and was waiting for a reply.