FBI-style security squad to start up

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 June, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 June, 1995, 12:00am

POLICE restructuring of senior management will today see the formation of a new branch to handle special investigations.

The Crime and Security Wing will also take over many of the responsibilities of the Special Branch, which will be disbanded next month.

In the past year, the Special Branch's functions, including intelligence gathering on pro-China activists, have either been dropped or designated for takeover by the Security Wing.

Director of Crime and Security Senior Assistant Commissioner Tsang Yam-pui has refused to disclose its major tasks.

It is believed the Security Wing, headed by Assistant Commissioner Robin Leung Fung-shun, is being loosely styled on the FBI - targeting renegade community groups and crimes of a bizarre or unusual nature.

Special Branch Commander Deputy Commissioner John Thorpe is about to retire from the force.

This will end an intriguing chapter in the force's history, but it is a story that is unlikely to ever emerge.

The Legislative Council security panel has been thwarted in its attempts to be briefed on a secret police study team report into the branch's operations and staffing levels. It has been claimed the report's release would jeopardise the territory's safety.