After 173 years, Hong Kong police force to get first woman deputy chief

Women will occupy four slots in top management team, and another will oversee security at office of city’s first female chief executive

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 05 July, 2017, 8:01am
UPDATED : Friday, 07 July, 2017, 2:09am

The police force will get its first ­female deputy chief in its 173-year history in a reshuffle that means a record four women will hold positions in the highest ranks.

Senior assistant commissioner Winnie Chiu Wai-yin will be promoted as one of two deputy commissioners from Saturday.

In another first, a female officer will protect the first woman chief executive, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, in the role of aide-de-camp, the Post was told on Tuesday.

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It is understood that Superintendent Ada Chan Ka-yi, who headed the 999 Emergency Call Centre in Kowloon, will soon ­replace Superintendent Chris Lau Chi-tong in the Chief Executive’s Office, taking charge of the leader’s VIP protection unit.

With the expected promotion of Chief Superintendent Irene Ho Yuen-ha to assistant commissioner in September, women will occupy four slots in the 21-strong top management team.

Chiu, 54, now in charge of personnel and training, will replace the outgoing deputy commissioner in charge of management, Alfred Chau Kwok-leung, who ­retires on Friday.

Her post will be taken by the senior assistant commissioner in charge of management services, Kenneth Li Kin-fai, while assistant police chief Oscar Kwok Yam-shu will be made senior assistant commissioner and fill Li’s role.

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Chief Superintendent Kent Chung Sze-pong of the Security Wing is tipped to be promoted and take over Kwok’s post as assistant police chief in charge of ­service quality.

The Post has learned that Ho, of the crime wing, is likely to replace assistant commissioner Duncan McCosh, who will retire.

The other two senior women officers are assistant commissioner Edwina Lau Chi-wai, who heads the Hong Kong Police ­College, and assistant police chief ­Rebecca Lam Hiu-tong, regional commander of marine police.

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In 1995 there was only one ­female officer at the top level – Felicia Wong Leung Kam-shan was the first woman to attain the rank of assistant commissioner.

The Junior Police Officers’ Association welcomed Chiu’s appointment,

“As she has been director of management services and director of personnel training, she will continue to maintain good communication, cooperation and relationship with frontline officers,” the association’s spokesman said.

The association also praised her efforts to improve welfare and working conditions for officers.

But force insiders said Chiu would probably not become the next police chief as the senior assistant commissioner in charge of operations, Chris Tang Ping-keung, was tipped to succeed commissioner Stephen Lo Wai-chung.

Chiu joined as an inspector in 1983, was prompted to assistant commissioner in 2011 and ­became the first woman senior ­assistant police chief in 2014.

“Chiu has served in a wide spectrum of posts encompassing criminal intelligence, narcotics, international liaison, training, ­divisional, district and regional command as well as operation policy and support at headquarter level,” the force said.