PR hands do well in shake-up of top police

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 20 January, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 20 January, 2010, 12:00am

A top-level police force reshuffle was announced yesterday with five out of eight senior officers being recommended for promotion having experience in heading the force's public relations work.

Assistant commissioners of police William Tang How-kong, Alfred Ma Wai-luk and Paul Hung Hak-wai were recommended for promotion to senior assistant commissioners. The recommendations appeared in an internal notice issued by the force.

Five chief superintendents were recommended to be promoted to assistant commissioner. They are: Yau Tsim District Commander Alan Lau Yip-shing, Alan Fan Sik-ming of the complaints and internal investigations branch, David Ng Ka-sing of the police public relations branch, deputy regional commander of New Territories North Peter Hunt, and deputy regional commander of New Territories South Kevin Woods.

An announcement is expected soon on the promotion of senior assistant commissioner John Lee Ka-chiu to deputy police commissioner to replace Peter Yam Tat-wing, who will retire in March when he reaches the retirement age of 57.

Lee, 52, who is director of crime and security, joined the force as an inspector in 1977. Most of his career has been spent in criminal investigation intelligence work. In 2003, he attended the Royal College of Defence Studies in London.

The force has an establishment of 27,338 officers, of which 423 are of superintendent rank or above.

Deputy police commissioner (management) Andy Tsang Wai-hung is widely tipped to take over from Police Commissioner Tang King-shing when he retires in May next year.

Tang and Ma served as heads of the Police Public Relations Branch before being promoted to assistant commissioners. In addition, Fan and Lau served as deputy heads of the force's public relations arm.

Ng has been head of the public relations branch since 2008, previously serving as Tuen Mun district commander.

The chairman of the Junior Police Officers' Association, Chung Kam-wa, said the force expected senior officers to have good communications abilities, internally and externally.

James To Kun-sun, deputy chairman of the legislature's security panel, said that officers who had served as head of the public relations branch would have more chance to show their strengths inside and outside the force so such high fliers were selected to these key positions.

But To said he had strong reservations over Ng's promotion, saying that he had not performed well as head of the public relations branch.