JUNIOR police are often obliged to pick up illegal part-time jobs to beat money problems because of the force's tight restrictions on casual employment, veteran officers said yesterday. The claim came in the wake of reports that about 60 officers were under investigation over allegations they took cash to be photographed in naked and semi-naked poses. One junior officer said: 'Although we can apply for permission from the force to work part-time outside, 99 out of 100 applications are turned down. Once our applications are rejected, our prospects might be affected. 'So many will take up part-time jobs privately. There's no doubt they are in financial trouble, otherwise they would not want to work as part-timers.' Figures released by the Hong Kong Credit Union League last year showed one-fifth of the police force, mainly junior officers, had loans totalling more than $200 million. However, despite assurances about scrutiny of the system, there remains deep concern over the extent of their debt. The Police Welfare Branch, which has responsibility for maintaining the issuing of loans, offers counselling and advice to officers to help restructure payments. But many officers are loath to publicise their problems. Another junior officer said he could not rule out the possibility that some of his colleagues might take up illegal jobs, such as male prostitution. He also said there was a constant temptation to take bribes to solve money difficulties. Junior officers work six days a week and 81/2 hours a day in shifts. Officers above the rank of inspector work a 51/2-day week. In the past, constables were able to privately pick up part-time jobs, the most common being a taxi driver. 'After the force issued a guideline that all officers involved in traffic accidents have to report the case to their commanders, many no longer work as taxi drivers,' the policeman said. 'If we are detected taking part-time jobs without permission, we will be disciplined.' The chairman of the Junior Police Officers Association, Cheung Shu-tsang, was unavailable to comment yesterday. A junior officer's starting salary is $12,380 a month but he also has medical benefits and housing entitlements.