MILLIONS of dollars of taxpayers' money are being spent each month to pay the salaries of more than 100 police officers suspended for disciplinary reasons. Most of the 110 officers being investigated for alleged crimes or misdemeanours draw their full salary at a cost of $30 million a year to the public. Some even top it up by doing other jobs in their free time. According to Superintendent Mary Ip Ching-man of the Royal Hong Kong Police's personnel discipline office, some of the officers had been suspended on full pay for three years. ''A lot of them face criminal trials and some of them face long investigations,'' she said. ''Normally they're cases which involve ICAC investigations.'' Those being probed include 98 rank-and-file officers, nine inspectors, two chief inspectors and a superintendent. Their monthly salaries range from $11,240 to $46,001. They also remain in their government flats or draw housing allowances of up to $24,000 a month, knowing that the cash will never have to be returned - even if they are found guilty of any wrong-doing. James To Kun-sun, a Legislative Councillor with the United Democrats, said the Government should consider striking a balance between keeping suspended police ''in touch'' with their jobs, getting value from their wages and safeguarding security. ''The Government may want to give some thought to it,'' he said. ''This may be the best arrangement they can think of [but] if there is a growing number we must think about it. ''If [an officer] is alleged to have accepted bribes, obviously you can't give him work until you clear his name.'' One suspended senior officer told the Sunday Morning Post that he and one of his colleagues were using their free time and cash to study for university degrees. ''In that way we're grateful. We've been given full pay to do studies,'' he said. ''[My colleague] wants to quit the force and become a barrister.'' But the enforced, paid holiday was nerve-racking for most senior officers and could devastate a career. Suspended police can hold jobs ''on the side'' legally only if they are deemed to be in financial hardship. ''It's hell. You're taken from a high-profile job where you were very busy and suddenly you're doing nothing,'' the officer said. ''As time passes you begin to lose faith in the system; it's come to the point now where I'm rusty. ''Suppose, after two or three years of interdiction, you go back to your job. You have to start from scratch. You don't know what's going on or what is force policy.'' In the first six months of this year 134 officers were on suspension, including 51 new cases. That figure had dropped to 110 by the end of last month. During the five years from 1989 to 1993, 345 officers were suspended but fewer than half - 129 - were reinstated. Chief Inspector Paul Holmes, of the force's internal investigations office, admitted more officers were being suspended. ''[It's] the whole spectrum of crime. A lot are allegations under the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance, under the ICAC,'' he said. ''They're interdicted until the case on which they've been arrested is concluded.''