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Commissioner of Police bids farewell


Following please find the translation of a speech by the Commissioner of Police, Mr Tsang Yam-pui at the farewell parade held at the Police Training School today (December 8).

Ladies and Gentlemen and Dear Colleagues,

Tomorrow will be a day of great emotions for me as my career of almost 38 years with the Hong Kong Police Force comes to a close.

A service spanning almost four decades has given me great pride and honour, particularly so as it has coincided with times of tremendous historical and social change for Hong Kong, and for the Hong Kong Police Force itself.

To have been part of these changes, particularly the tremendous advances made by the Force in the past few years, is something for which I am incredibly proud. Added to this is the fact that I have served as the Force's Commissioner for the last three years. This can only be described as the greatest honour of my life.

The Hong Kong Police Force is known for its size, representing the largest government department in the HKSARG. However more importantly it is renowned for being one of the most modern, well-equipped and professional policing organizations not just in Asia, but anywhere in the world. We are genuinely recognized as a policing body which not only maintains the highest levels of integrity and commitment, but one which provides a safe low crime environment for its community together with a wide range of professional services for each and every one of its citizens.

The changes which have taken place within the Force since I joined in the 1960's have been immense. As an organization we have reengineered ourselves from a staunchly para-military style force to an agency dedicated to the provision of professional service and assistance to the community of which we are a part.

This transformation has demanded a radical change in both organizational as well as individual attitudes and approach; a change that is tangibly reflected in the 'new look' Hong Kong Police Force we now see. The foundations of today's Force are firmly based on a bedrock of transparency, openness and accountability. These qualities are essential for any forward thinking Force and are not only well established within the mindset of our own Force members, but serve as an essential framework upon which the physical image of the organization is founded. Customer friendly public interface areas in police stations, state of the art IT and communication systems, the best quality frontline equipment and a towering new high tech police headquarters are just some of the areas which serve to highlight just what a first class, professional Police Force Hong Kong enjoys. Indeed this is not just a Police Force for today's Hong Kong, it is one for Hong Kong's future.

But of course as impressive as our positive, open approach, as well as our forward looking systems, and equipment may be, the single greatest asset the Hong Kong Police possesses is the men and women who work within it. As a Force we pride ourselves in the quality of the staff we have. We have the calibre of individual officer that a city of Hong Kong's status, vibrancy and complexity deserves. We have a body of men and women who take pride in the organization to which they belong and who have the dedication and clear sense of purpose that is required to serve our community.

There is no doubt that we are now a Force of tremendous strengths. However these attributes can only be retained if a clear framework exists within the Force to ensure that as an organization we continue to not only operate as effectively as possible, but also continue to develop ourselves and seek excellence.

I am pleased to say that such a framework exists and it is securely underpinned by a well-considered, developed strategic action plan. This is a plan formulated with the consensus of the Force and ultimately one which will be carried forward by all layers of the organization.

In my view having such a framework is perhaps more essential today than ever before, as the Force sees itself entering times of further, unprecedented change and heightened challenge.

Economic and social integration within the Pearl River Delta Region has already brought fundamental changes to the manner in which all sectors of Hong Kong society approach their interaction with the Mainland. The Force is no different in this regard as we now contend with an array of hitherto unseen issues. Our relationship with Mainland policing authorities, the legal difficulties arising from our co-operation in the fight against cross-border crime, as well as the relaxation of restrictions on the number of Mainland visitors now being allowed to enter the HKSAR are just some areas with which we now have to deal.

These of course come on the back of existing challenges which arise from issues such as public order policing, meeting fresh domestic crime issues, maintaining our contribution to the efforts against international terrorism, contending with a general upturn in workload, and preparing to meet the constraints which will undoubtedly arise from declining public sector resources.

However as I have already highlighted strategic planning is in place to respond to these challenges whilst at the same time an effective management structure and a carefully designed succession plan have also been established to determine how the long term future of the Force will be managed.

Tomorrow I will leave the Force confident in the knowledge that not only does a quality of leadership and structure exist, but long term goals and solutions to meet them are firmly in place.

In concluding I would draw attention to the fact that all the determination, structure and forward planning in the world cannot be implemented, or sustained if it is not for the support of all who have helped to make the Force what it is today. I would therefore like to extend my heartfelt thanks for the support I have received from individual members of the Force past and present, members of the Executive and Legislative Councils, the HKSAR Government and last but not least the community of Hong Kong as whole.

Goodbye. Good luck to you all.

Police Report No. 1

Issued by PPRB

End/1100 hours, Monday, December 8, 2003


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