POLICE officers who want a loan must reveal their financial details in a new measure aimed at stopping big debts being run up. Police are required to sign a declaration authorising the Police Credit Union and other credit institutions to reveal full information from their personal accounts if they ask for cash from the Police Welfare Fund. The chief force welfare officer, Ian Blair, said the move was part of a management initiative to prevent officers from borrowing too much. In the past some officers who have become financially over-stretched have resorted to corruption or become victims of blackmail in order to meet their debts. It was revealed last year that nine out of 144 loanshark victims detected were policemen. And according to a review by the Department of Audit, the level of indebtedness among the force in 1992-93 was over $700 million, three times that of 1989. ''The main purpose is to discourage police officers from asking for loans,'' Mr Blair said. But the measure was criticised by officers as unnecessary and unfair. The Police Superintendents' Association president, Chief Superintendent John Hui Chiu-yin, said it was an invasion of privacy. He said he feared too complicated a procedure would divert police officers from the official channels to other informal sources of loans. Chief Inspector Chau Chuen-kung, chairman of the Local Inspectors' Association, also expressed reservations about the declaration. He said the new regulations were unfair and suggested the management address the problem by other methods. Mr Chau also wondered whether the management had the power to impose the new regulations without prior consultation. He said: ''According to the Police Force Ordinance, only the Governor in Council has the power to make police regulations on the administration of the Police Welfare Fund.'' The Junior Police Officers' Association said it did not understand why officers were being asked to disclose private matters when applying for a welfare item. The association's first vice-chairman, station sergeant Lok Tak-chi, said: ''It is unfair to require us to make known our financial status.'' He said the association's legal consultant had advised there was no legal obligation on members to reveal such details. The three major police officers' associations have written to management to express their discontent, especially over the lack of consultation. They were informed without warning by the administration on February 14 about the measure, which came into effect immediately. They said they were seeking to meet the management to discuss the issue. According to Mr Blair, more than 100 applications for loans were received each month.