Enhanced security measures at Legco building cost HK$45,000 a month

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 18 June, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 18 June, 2009, 12:00am

The new security measures at the Legislative Council building, which came into effect yesterday, will cost HK$45,000 a month.

Legco secretary general Pauline Ng Man-wah said that the cost included the installation of a door-frame metal detector at the public entrance, a hand-held metal detector and the hiring of three professional security guards.

It was expected that the height of glass barriers in the public galleries would be increased by the end of the year at the earliest, she said.

The legislature reviewed its security measures after a mentally ill man slashed himself with a box cutter in the chamber during the weekly sitting on Wednesday last week.

The 53-year-old man, surnamed Ching, was arrested for 'contempt of Legco'.

About 50 members of the public went through the new security checkpoint yesterday.

Ms Ng believed the new arrangement would not discourage the public from observing Legco meetings, adding that the first day of operation was satisfactory.

'We found the first day arrangement quite smooth and it did not take too much time for security checks. It took less than two minutes for each individual,' she said.

Security measures would be reviewed at the end of this month and the secretariat would collect views from users before making a decision about long-term measures.

Members of the public are required to store all baggage in lockers and walk through a door-frame metal detector before they proceed to Legco public galleries.

Guns, pointed or edged weapons, sharp objects and any items which could cause injury are not permitted inside the building. Food and water are also not allowed.

Tomorrow, the Architectural Services Department will submit a design for higher glass barriers in public galleries.

The Legco commission is to meet next month to further discuss the proposed design.