POLICE have rejected outright a proposed insurance package for officers engaged in the Vietnamese orderly repatriation programme. Although the rejection of the offer - intended to cover officers injured or killed in the Vietnamese flights - is unlikely to cause any delays in voluntary returns, the force is seething over the matter and may take extraordinary measures to have the package boosted. Senior Superintendent William Harvey of the Operations Wing said the insurance bid was a major concern. He described the Government's proposal to pay $1 million to families of injured or killed officers 'inadequate' but refused to speculate on what action was planned. Mr Harvey said officers' 'pride in the profession of policing' had been the reason so far for averting the possibility of protest. 'In the wake of the Hercules crash, we have been trying to secure for our officers an adequate insurance package,' Mr Harvey said. 'So far, we have been able to supply volunteers for these flights. 'We are urgently exploring ways to improve what is an inadequate response on the question of insurance cover and are very mindful of the legitimate concerns of our officers . . . There is a lot of strong feeling about this particular issue. 'It is a unique duty, which can be quite unpleasant at times and, with 100 deportees on board sometimes, there is always an element of danger. 'We have seen these people become very violent.' For the last repatriation flight, officers would have been entitled to claim $1 million or an amount equivalent to three years' salary. This would have been in addition to government benefits such as employee's compensation, pension and death benefits. It is understood the police are demanding at least $4 million or six times an officer's annual salary. The police are the dominant agency in the repatriation flights. Those units most directly involved with Vietnamese are usually preferred for the exercises. Once airborne, officers are not covered by the Police Force Ordinance, meaning senior management cannot direct police to take part in the flights. In the past, legal advice has been obtained which denies commanders the right to make adverse judgments from an officer's refusal to fly to Vietnam. It is understood the next flight is planned for the end of January. A Government spokesman said: 'The question of an insurance package for escorts on these flights is still being examined by the central Government.' The police anger flows from the crash in September of a Hercules at Kai Tak airport in which six people were killed. The aircraft had been used since 1991 to help in the repatriation programme. When force management studied the tragedy, it was learned that, apart from normal service entitlements, there would have been little insurance cover for officers had they been among the casualties. Indeed, many officers had private insurance cover which excluded payment for non-fare-paying passengers on flights.