CUTS in the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Royal Hong Kong Police, due to officially start this week, could result in up to 300 experienced officers being put back on the beat. The detectives will mainly fill vacancies made available by the split of the New Territories force into two regions. One investigator said the move would ''crucify'' the CID, and cut anti-triad capability by 50 per cent. Other senior detectives are also unhappy, saying they will lose officers with invaluable experience of specialised anti-triad investigations. The planned move could see experienced officers, mainly sergeants and constables who have spent years acting as detectives, put into non-investigation roles, patrolling housing estates in the New Territories. The ''exercise'' will take place over 12 months and will ''redeploy'' officers who go on long leave and will not replace those who retire. It coincides with a general reduction in violent crime, including a 50 per cent drop in armed robberies. But last week saw two violent confrontations with armed suspects which left three suspected robbers dead, four police officers and seven civilians injured. The police would not give details of the pending cuts, claiming the moves are part of a continuing operation to make better use of members of 27,151-strong force. ''Redeployment of manpower is a long-standing and on-going exercise with the aim of maximising resources and enhancing the effectiveness of the force,'' a police spokesman said. Security Panel member, Howard Young, last night said he had not heard of moves to put detectives back on the street but knew the force was to increase beat patrols through recruitment and the redeployment of administrative staff. ''It is up to the police to decide how to deploy manpower in order to achieve the result of having people on the beat,'' he said. It is believed most of the cuts will come from district action squads, which one officer said were not required and had become superfluous under current thinking on manpower. The redeployment of officers is believed to have been proposed by a study working under Keith Lomas, Deputy Commissioner of Police, in charge of management. But senior detectives are unhappy with the action, believing they will lose experienced officers, some who specialise in anti-triad investigations, who will not be replaced once they have been redeployed. ''It will cut the anti-triad capability by 50 per cent,'' one detective said. However, one uniformed branch officer supported the redeployment of district action squad officers and said the men were needed more on the beat than in detective roles. He said some district anti-triad squads had already been cut and could face further reductions in manpower.