Police aiming to speed up transfers to the CID
Police are planning to speed up the transfer process to becoming a detective - one of several steps meant to ease heavy workloads and improve morale in what was once the force's most coveted unit, the criminal investigation department (CID).
The plans were revealed yesterday after a meeting of four major police unions and a taskforce reviewing the department.
But Benjamin Tsang Chiu-fo, vice-chairman of Hong Kong Police Inspectors' Association, said after the meeting that the basic solution was to get more manpower.
'We feel that the force is trying its best to provide a holistic approach to deal with the manpower shortage,' Tsang said. 'But the proposed measures may not be able to resolve the problems completely.'
As of the end of last year, there were 5,524 officers in the CID and 54 vacancies.
Even if all the vacancies were filled, the number could not meet the constant increase in the officers' workload. Many must work overtime to deal with cases and follow up with court proceedings.
Only officers who complete training in the Police Tactical Unit are allowed to work as detective. That means an officer with less than five years of experience cannot apply to become a detective.
Under the proposed scheme, this restriction would gradually be relaxed. Overtime allowances and holiday allocations would also be improved. A support team would be set up to provide help with administrative and paperwork duties to allow officers to spend more time on actual investigations.
The chairman of the Junior Police Officers' Association, Gary Wong Ching, welcomed the new measures.
'I believe they can help alleviate the heavy workload and we will collect feedback from the frontline officers,' he said.
Details of the scheme, expected to take effect in the second quarter, are to be announced today.
Police Commissioner Andy Tsang Wai-hung, a former CID officer, pledged to revamp the unit when he took office in January.