Bilingual charge sheet scheme to be expanded
By DARREN GOODSIR
THE use of bilingual charge sheets in police stations is to be expanded with the approved translation of 10 further ordinances.
This means 14 criminal statutes will feature in the trial programme running at Wong Tai Sin.
Police sources say the unplanned extension underscores the relative success of the four-month scheme. Depending on financial resources and the availability of computers, the sheets - which inform an offender in English and Chinese of a crime - might be introduced throughout the force next year.
Under current projections, bilingual sheets will be able to be standardised in mid-1996.
This is when the Communal Information System (CIS), a computer network linking all police stations, is due to become operational.
However, if the charge sheet scheme is to be fast-tracked, funding will either have to be made available for about 130 more personal computers or the speedier incorporation of the CIS.
'What we have tried to do is to target and get into the computer system those charges most frequently used in the approved ordinances,' said a police source.
'So far, things have been running relatively smoothly.' Only four ordinances - covering general crime, theft, offences against the person and summary offences - were originally used in the trial, these being statutes officially recognised by the Legal Department.
Among these laws, only the most frequently used offences were targeted for actual use.