NONE of Hong Kong's five police regions has enough officers to put on the beat, internal documents obtained by the South China Morning Post reveal. On an average day, only 2,150 officers - including 750 auxiliary police - are put on foot patrol. Given the force's established strength of 24,593, excluding Marine Police, it means just 5.7 per cent of personnel are on the beat. One shift on Hong Kong Island has 121 officers on duty, less than half the minimum requirement of 270. In New Territories North, 81 officers patrol the streets when the operational level should be 160. These figures do not take into account leave or training factors or the preparation of officers for internal security. Nor do they deal with specialist roles like traffic or crime. The secret papers - prepared last month for government officials as part of a claim for extra resources - show the New Territories to be worst hit, with only about 300 officers a day, including auxiliary staff, assigned to foot patrols. In the study, police administrators say 25 per cent of available strength is dedicated to beat patrols under a confusing system put forward to argue for more resources. The paper stresses to all officers the importance of showing 'how effectively and efficiently' the force is using its resources. This is critical, it says, to ensure 'claims made for additional resources can be justified in the keen competition and tight financial constraints of modern government'. Chief Secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang asked for a study of beat resources in May. Director of Audit Brian Jenney was also urged to evaluate how effective the drive to rid officers of desk duties had been in a separate and independent move aimed to coincide with the completion of comprehensive police studies of operations. The director's report has still to be completed. There are 15 shifts a day; three in each of the five regions, and the police study shows only one shift - the 4 pm-midnight roster on Hong Kong Island - exceeds the required number of officers. Dr Tang Siu-tong, Legislative Council representative for New Territories West, which takes in badly affected Tuen Mun and Yuen Long, said the police were always assuring him they had enough men. But he said: 'I think the number they have got at the moment is not really good enough for the area. 'In fact, it is difficult to find the police in these housing estates.' More police would make the villagers feel more secure and officers stationed in the estates would soon get to know the people and the areas better, he said. It was essential for police to establish on-site premises near housing estates for more direct contact with citizens, he added. The police study highlights the bureaucratic battle between police and government over the force's desire to boost its establishment to 30,000. It also shows the dramatic significance of a review last year by private consultants Coopers and Lybrand.