Lawmakers have expressed concern about the number of police officers deep in credit card debt. In the first half of this year, 240 police officers had received a total of 441 letters from financial companies reminding them of outstanding debts. Three of them had been ordered to resign, said Lam Cheuk-ping, Superintendent (Internal Communications) at a security panel meeting yesterday. According to the police, 165 officers had difficulty repaying their debts in the first half year, which was 26.9 per cent more than the second half year of last year. Of the 165, 34 were in debt from overspending, 23 through gambling, 13 from investment failure and 11 through business failure. Chief Superintendent Leung Lau-on attributed the increase of indebtedness to the economic downturn. Police management have provided assistance, such as advice on how to handle 'unmanageable debts'. Cheung Man-kwong, of the Democratic Party, said the figure did not reflect reality as it did not include those officers who owed money but were able to handle repayments. 'I have heard of cases where officers retire early because they want the pension to repay their debts,' he said.