A former veteran policeman has been jailed for 15 months for stealing HK$2,000 in cash that members of the public had found and turned in at the Mong Kok police station.
Former senior constable Ng Siu-fai, 46, had 'brought the police into disrepute', Deputy District Court Judge Cheang Kei-hong said yesterday.
Ng, who joined the force in 1984, had pleaded not guilty.
He was convicted of 12 counts of theft between August 2009 and August 2010.
The court heard that people had handed in wallets and other items they had found and Ng had handled the cases.
According to procedure, officers receiving such items must put them in the lost property storage section, make a record of them and issue a receipt to the person who brought them in.
Ng failed to do so, and later removed the cash from the wallets.
Cheang said Ng had abused the trust of not only his employer, the Hong Kong Police Force, but also those who had turned in the property in the hope the police could find the owners. 'Your conduct has eroded public confidence in the police and brought the police into disrepute,' the judge said.
Ng, who is married with one daughter, had received various commendations and awards for his service, the court heard.
His lawyer said Ng's career had ended and he had lost his long-service entitlements, including his pension.
'The fact remains that these were serious offences,' Cheang said. 'When Ng embarked on these offences, he must have realised the potential consequences.'
Another officer at the same police station has also been jailed for stealing property.
Hung Chi-chung, 36, was sentenced to two years in prison for taking more than HK$12,000 in cash and property.