Pay rise boosts number of police applicants
The civil service pay rise is being cited as a reason for an increase of up to 42 per cent in the number of applications to join the police force this year.
The number of applicants for the position of inspector rose by 41.6 per cent to 1,525 between April and June, from 1,077 in the same period last year.
The number of those applying to be a constable rose 21.7 per cent to 2,485, from 2,042 a year earlier.
'The pay rise acted as a catalyst,' Assistant Commissioner (Personnel) Xavier Tang Kam-moon said yesterday at a recruitment day at police headquarters. More than 1,700 people attended the open day.
From August 1, the new starting salary of inspectors will be between HK$27,980 and HK$29,715, depending on applicants' academic qualifications, an increase of HK$3,800 to HK$4,235.
A constable's starting salary will be between HK$15,350 and HK$15,820, an increase of HK$1,100 to HK$1,150.
Mr Tang said the police turnover rate remained between 2.8 per cent and 3 per cent. 'Private companies are also offering a better pay [with the booming economy]. We will step up our effort internally to retain police officers,' he said.
Mr Tang said the police would recruit more officers this financial year - 105 inspectors and 1,200 constables - than in the past nine years.
'This is because the officers recruited in the 1970s, when we were expanding our force, are starting to retire gradually,' he said.
Diploma-holder Wong Chun-kit, 21, said he had applied for the post of constable in part because of the pay rise. 'The starting salary has increased and they offer quite attractive benefits,' he said. 'The job is also challenging.'
Form Seven graduate Jacky Lin Lee-ming, 22, said he wanted to be a policeman because it offered a high salary and excellent prospects for promotion. 'I will choose to join the police even if I get an offer from a university,' he said. 'I can keep studying while working.'
The police will hold another recruitment expo on August 18 at the Hong Kong Police College.