Officer's radio fished out of septic tank

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 27 March, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 27 March, 2012, 12:00am
 

Sanitation workers yesterday retrieved a police digital walkie-talkie worth more than HK$20,000 from a public toilet in Tai Po, where it had been accidentally dropped into a septic tank by a police officer over the weekend.


A team from the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, responding to a police request for help, took nearly three hours to retrieve the device from the three-metre-deep tank beneath the toilet at Hang Ha Po, off Lam Kam Road.


The radio fell into the tank at about 8.45pm on Saturday, after a plainclothes officer visited the toilet while on patrol with three colleagues during an anti-burglary operation. She immediately reported the loss to her commander.


Officers guarded the toilet for the next two days, until the FEHD could respond. Sewage was pumped out before a worker went into the tank to retrieve the walkie-talkie.


Police said the 27-year-old policewoman, who has been with the Tai Po divisional task force for about two years, had placed the device on top of a tissue-roll holder.


She would probably receive a verbal warning for negligence, an officer said.


'It appears to be a careless act, but each officer is responsible for handling and keeping their equipment properly,' the officer said.


According to police, communication between the walkie-talkie and the control centre had been disconnected after it was reported missing.


The device is part of the force's third-generation Command and Control Communications system, which is digitally encrypted to prevent illegal scanners eavesdropping.

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