Auxiliary police officers are planning to step up action against reform of the force by petitioning the Chief Executive with 3,500 signatures. The move was revealed yesterday as a row brewed over whether auxiliary officers attending work-related functions should continue to be given allowances. The regular force refused to grant allowances to 40 auxiliary officers attending a briefing on rules at an officers' mess last month. A police spokesman said the granting of allowances for auxiliary officers attending this type of function would have to be decided on a case-by-case basis under the new system. The 500 auxiliary officers attending a long-service medal presentation ceremony this evening will receive their allowances. Commandant of the auxiliary force Peter Chau Cham-chiu said: 'You can do nothing about it . . . The regular force has the say under the new system.' A spokesman for an auxiliary officers' concern group said: 'It's like begging to get their approval every time.' Regular officers attending such functions during working hours would be paid. 'We are complaining because the whole reform has insulted us. It's about our morale and our dignity, not about our money,' the spokesman said. He said officers were planning to step up the protest against the reform and had collected nearly 3,500 signatures from among the 5,721-strong force. 'We are planning to complain to the Chief Executive with the signatures collected,' the spokesman said. Police management said the auxiliary force needed changing because the regular force had grown and crime patterns had changed. Among the changes are cutting the number of officers from 5,721 to 4,500 in the next three to five years, to be achieved through natural attrition. Another reform opposed by the part-timers is limiting their beat-patrol duties with regular officers to once a month only - as 'on-the-job training'. 'We used to be able to do the beat patrol independently. We're capable of doing it,' the spokesman said.