More overtime cash but no extra staff for CID
The police yesterday announced a list of measures to help the city's demoralised detectives - including more cash for overtime payments - but said overall staffing levels would remain the same.
The overtime budget for the criminal investigation department (CID) has been raised from HK$15 million to HK$30 million a year - making it easier for detectives to claim for working beyond their normal hours. Many investigators had been denied overtime payments because the department had run out of money.
But the total size of the CID staff would remain unchanged, despite calls from unions and frontline detectives, who said they could no longer cope with a growing caseload.
Assistant commissioner Alan Fan Sik-ming, chairman of the force's study team on the recruitment and retention of detectives, yesterday announced a range of measures to boost morale and make CID work more attractive.
Fan said eight-member teams would be set up in every district to help relieve local detectives when their colleagues were on leave or attending court.
A regional support centre would also be set up to help with administrative work. The force would review the effectiveness of the measures for up to 18 months, Fan said.
The force will also open CID posts to any officer with at least two years' experience, removing a requirement for detectives to have trained for the Police Tactical Unit.
Other recommendations included the creation of a new detective training school at Lei Muk Shue, more training courses overseas and a mentorship scheme.
'The force is confident the new measures could attract young officers to become detectives,' Fan said.
Fan said about 100 of the force's 5,500 CID roles were vacant.
Unions had said that even if all the vacancies were filled, the CID would not be able to cope with its workload.
Benjamin Tsang Chiu-fo, vice-chairman of the Police Inspectors' Association, said unions knew the force was sincere in its efforts to solve the CID's problems, and said more manpower would be the solution.
Gary Wong Ching, chairman of the Junior Police Officers' Association, welcomed the new measures and said he hoped the force would increase the number of detectives.