CORRECTIONAL Services officers have threatened to boycott future repatriation as a protest against the Government's failure to charge Vietnamese accused of assault in recent extraction operations. Two police staff associations, representing about 24,000 officers, are also planning to initiate private prosecutions in an intensified campaign to protect security forces from injury. News of the disciplined services' backlash comes as officials gear up for a removal exercise next Thursday involving up to 2,000 officers. It will target 100 boat people in the north camp at High Island detention centre. These developments follow the refusal of the Secretary for Security, Peter Lai Hing-ling, to meet the Correctional Services Department Officers' Association to discuss the issue. The association wants the Government to review its non-prosecution policy and hold urgent talks. 'Unless the Government talks with us about this, it is my opinion that we will seriously consider not carrying out repatriation exercises,' spokesman Wong Wai-hung said. 'If the Vietnamese receive a message that they will not be prosecuted when they assault us, the next time we have to go in, they will react even more violently.' Mr Wong said that unless the Government agreed to talks on Monday, members would be asked to consider options including strikes, refusal to participate in future operations, private prosecutions, and a direct appeal to Governor Chris Patten. He conceded strike action would be a drastic move, particularly as it would expose officers and the association to prosecution. It is against the law for disciplined services officers to take industrial action. The Expatriate Inspectors' Association and Junior Police Officers' Association are also pushing for civil action. They have both indicated financial backing for such action, if initiated. However, both police associations will first officially protest at the failure to charge at least four Vietnamese - all identified on video assaulting officers during a raid at Whitehead detention centre on May 20 - at a meeting next Thursday of the Police Force Council. This body represents staff associations, top police and government officials. It is believed the Superintendents' Association and Local Inspectors' Association also take a dim view of the decision of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Peter Nguyen QC, not to proceed with charges. This decision was revealed in August after a South China Morning Post report which indicated government intransigence on the police file urging the Vietnamese be charged. The Expatriate Inspectors' Association chairman, Chief Inspector Robin Jolly, confirmed the protest. 'We must have the right to defend ourselves. If this happened on the street, it would be unacceptable,' he said. The Local Inspectors' Association chairman, Chief Inspector Tony Liu Kit-ming, said members preferred to wait to determine the Vietnamese attitude. 'We are also greatly concerned about this matter,' he said. 'But some people are of the opinion prosecutions will only create more trouble.' A CSD spokesman said management could understand why staff were upset. 'However, we hope the staff can also understand the government position and accept the decision not to prosecute was made on the grounds of public interest,' the spokesman said. It is understood the Government is reluctant to charge Vietnamese because they may receive jail sentences leaving them in Hong Kong beyond 1997.