COLLEAGUES of injured constable Tam Chun-yip yesterday called for bolstered in-service training for policemen to ensure they react properly in crises.
Constable Tam, 20, who lacks 'actual operational experience', according to his commanding officer, has spent at least one-third of the past two years doing report-room duties in Mongkok.
He joined the police training school about three years ago.
His poor health delayed his receiving the tough Police Tactical Unit training which most officers usually undergo after two years in the force.
Colleagues said the constable, who had never fired his gun on the beat, was a quiet, hard-working and responsible policeman.
'Perhaps we can say he has a lack of actual operational experience,' said acting Mongkok District Commander Chief Superintendent Fung Kam-wong.
One of Tam's police colleagues said: 'A policeman should try to avoid running after a suspect alone.
'But there are emergency situations in which you can't wait for back-up support.' A former officer at Mongkok district's operation division, Chief Inspector Tang Hon-wing, agreed there was no fixed rule that a constable had to seek back-up support before taking action.
'It depends very much on the situation. It depends on the judgment of the police officer,' he said. 'Experience could help making a sound judgment.' Some police suggested there should be more in-service training, especially on how to deal with emergency situations.
RECENT SHOOTINGS 1994: October 14 - A Korean man and his kidnapper shot dead by police in Aberdeen after the culprit seized a taxi in Central.
1994: May 18 - Four people, including a police officer, shot - one fatally - during a robbery shootout in The Landmark, Central.
1994: March 28 - Gunman shot dead, another injured when crooks tried to rob plain-clothes police officers in a fisherman's club in Canton Road.
1994: March 16 - 33 shots fired in Shamshuipo when police officer's gun snatched. Both men shot.
1994: January 5 - 100 shots fired, a boat set alight and three suspected smugglers arrested off Sai Kung when a police boat chased smugglers.
1993: December 17 - A police officer and two car thieves injured during a Tai Po restaurant shootout.
1993: September 9 - 20 shots fired during when police attempted to stop a gang robbing the Chase Manhattan Bank in Tsim Sha Tsui. Two robbers killed, eight wounded.
1993: August 31 - 19 shots fired, critically wounding suspected car thief. Police said that officers' lives were in danger.
1993: May 1 - One shot fired by a policeman who said he was being dragged by a car. The shot killed the driver.
1993: January 6 - 17 shots fired by police at a gang of armed robbers who used AK-47 assault rifles. Pedestrian killed, policeman wounded, robber shot dead.
1992: December 2 - 53 shots fired by police in gun battle with armed robbers trying to escape after robbing a Kowloon City jewellery shop. Two robbers shot dead.
1992: June 10 - Three shots were fired by police, killing an armed robber at The Peak.
1992: May 29 - 19 shots fired during a New Territories jewellery shop robbery. Policeman and robber wounded.