Police are planning to cut 2,000 jobs over the next three years, sparking concerns over services and staff morale. It is understood force management told officers late last week it was planning to cut 1,027 disciplined and 973 civilian posts. The move followed Financial Secretary Donald Tsang Yam-kuen's announcement in March of an initiative to reduce the size of the civil service by about five per cent between 2000 and 2003. The management did not spell out which ranks and posts would be affected. Local Inspectors' Association chairman Tony Liu Kit-ming feared the cuts would have a negative impact on the force and the public. 'We are concerned it will further reduce officers' promotion prospects, have a negative impact on morale and affect services to the public due to a reduced police presence on the street,' he said. 'It defies common sense to say the cuts will have no impact at all. We'll try to clarify the plan with management.' Assistant Commissioner Tang King-shing said the cuts would not affect frontline services because most losses would be from support services and would be lost through natural wastage and redeployment. 'And there will be no significant impact on promotion chances,' he said. Morale and internal communication problems have recently been raised by some staff associations, which said messages were being filtered or blocked at middle-management level. But Police Commissioner Eddie Hui Ki-on said in the latest issue of OffBeat - the police in-house newspaper - that the force had been working to improve internal communication after a steering committee was set up in 1998.