Police conduct study to boost efficiency

A BRANCH is being established to identify poor police behaviour and conduct.

The unit, which will also look for initiatives worth copying, is aimed at improving the force's image and efficiency, following public focus on how complaints are dealt with.

The Police Service Quality Wing will start on May 1.

It will comprise a tight-knit secretariat of about 30 officers - most of them above the rank of inspector - but will have full command responsibility for the Complaints Against Police Office (CAPO) in addition to inspection and performance review duties.

The change to CAPO's command marks a desire by police to better identify trends of poor behaviour and conduct.

It is felt junior police, in particular, are responsible for generating many public complaints that - if assessed in detail and better explained - might not have been attracted.


The wing, which sees a merger of the management and inspection services wing and the research branch, will initially look at implementing changes identified in an 18-month study of all police functions.

It will be commanded by Assistant Commissioner Benny Ng Ching-kwok.

''Basically, we want to stress the importance of service quality,'' Mr Ng said.

''And, through performance reviews and efficiency studies, we hope to be able to improve our operations.'' Traditionally, all commands - with the exception of the Special Branch - were subjected to an audit and inspection every five years. However, it was considered the scope and relevance of these reviews had lost direction and importance.


Under the new regime, the wing will centrally co-ordinate the analysis of reviews conducted by regional inspection teams.

In the past year, Mr Ng has been steering the work of a police team analysing more than 1,000 reforms suggested to improve the way the force is managed.


These changes flow from a report last year by consultants Coopers and Lybrand into all aspects of police command and control.

Only a handful have been implemented; mainly those with no financial or budgetary implications.

Last month, Commissioner of Police, Li Kwan-ha, suggested about 2,900 extra police would be needed to achieve the desired new police functions.


However, the speedy establishment of the wing represents the determination with which senior administrators are wanting to press ahead with reform.

Coopers and Lybrand private consultant, Gary Garner, who has been informing senior officers about review techniques, said: ''Police realise that society is changing and that they must change with it.''