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LCQ10: Hong Kong Police Force's integrity management

     Following is a question by the Hon Leung Yiu-chung and a written reply by the Secretary for Security, Mr Lai Tung-kwok, in the Legislative Council today (February 17):


     Recently, there have been a number of media reports on crime cases allegedly committed by police officers, such as threatening sex workers to provide sex service, colluding with drug traffickers to fabricate false narcotics cases for detection by them, and deceiving public money, etc.  Some members of the public have queried that the Police Force has become a hotbed of crime.  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) over the past five years, of (i) the number of police officers convicted, broken down by type of crimes, (ii) the detection rate of the crime cases in which the suspects were police officers, broken down by type of crimes, and (iii) the number of police officers who were interdicted from duty as they were alleged to have committed crimes (broken down by the remuneration arrangements during their interdiction), the total number of days of interdiction, as well as the total amount of remuneration received by the police officers concerned during their interdiction; if it cannot provide such information, whether it will compile the relevant statistics;

(2) of the mechanism and procedures adopted by the Police for following up the crime cases in which the suspects are police officers; the measures in place to prevent police officers from harbouring their colleagues;

(3) whether a mechanism is currently in place to forestall police officers' committing crimes; if so, whether the Government will establish an independent committee dedicated to reviewing if such a mechanism has rooms for improvement, and studying new measures to prevent the problem of police officers committing crimes from worsening; if it will not, of the reasons for that;

(4) whether the Police will consider covering cases of crimes committed by police officers on its television programme "Police Magazine", so as to alert members of the public to stay vigilant; and

(5) whether it has assessed if the recent incidents of police officers breaking the law deliberately have undermined the credibility of the Police Force, thus constituting a serious social problem; if it has assessed and the outcome is in the affirmative, whether the authorities have examined the roots of the problem and ways to solve the problem at its roots?



     The Police show zero tolerance to and have no bias towards police officers' behaviour that runs against the law or discipline.  Should any individual police officer is suspected of violating the law or discipline, the Police shall handle the case in accordance with the relevant legislation and established procedures in a fair and impartial manner.  

     In the past five years, a total of 55 police officers were convicted of criminal offences, such as theft, fraud, sexual offences, corruption-related offences and misconduct in public office.  During the same period, a total of 133 police officers that were involved in criminal cases were interdicted from duty, of which the lengths of interdiction varied with cases.  The Police do not maintain the figures on the amount of salary paid to those officers during the period.
     If any police officer is suspected of a criminal offence, the case shall be handled by the Police under sections 13 and 17 of the Police Force Ordinance (the Ordinance) (Cap. 232) to ascertain whether an interdiction is required, and to make arrangements for salary payment during the interdiction period.  In the event that a charge in respect of a criminal offence is subsequently pressed against such an officer and that the court has found in criminal proceedings that the charge has been proved, the Police shall make arrangements for cessation of salary or allowance in accordance with section 37(4) of the Ordinance.  In addition, section 37(5) of the Ordinance stipulates that if an officer in respect of whom a court has found in criminal proceedings that a charge against him has been proved and whose appeal or other application for review of those proceedings is not allowed or is abandoned or withdrawn, may be, by the Chief Executive or the Commissioner of Police, dismissed without retirement benefits, compulsorily retired with full retirement benefits or reduced retirement benefits or without retirement benefits, reduced or reverted in rank or subjected to a lesser punishment.

     The Police understand the public's very high expectation on the standard of conduct and discipline of police officers.  To enhance police officers' integrity management, a Force Committee on Integrity Management (FCIM) was set up in 2009.  Chaired by the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Management), the FCIM, in addition to providing guidelines and making assessments on major integrity management matters, monitors the effectiveness and promotion of the Force Strategy for Integrity Management.  At the formation level, the Police have appointed 45 Chief Superintendents or Senior Superintendents as Formation Integrity Officers.

     In 2009, the Police formulated a four-pronged approach of integrity management strategy, namely, "education and integrity culture building", "governance and control", "enforcement and deterrence", and "reintegration and support".  In 2010, the Police further developed a series of baseline activities for all officers to participate.  A review of relevant activities was completed in 2015, and measures for further enhancement shall be rolled out by phase.  Relevant measures include providing scenario-based integrity management training in various training programmes; incorporating integrity management elements into professional examinations and promotion exercises; setting up an "Integrity Management Coordinating Committee" chaired by Chief Superintendent (Complaints and Internal Investigations Branch) thus enhancing the co-ordination of various Formation Integrity Committees and sharing of successful experiences; strengthening training of front-line supervisors on investigations so as to equip them for conducting efficient criminal investigation and disciplinary reviews on cases involving integrity issues; and stepping up the promotion of "Individual Reintegration Plan" in a bid to render more appropriate support and encouragement to the Police officers previously with integrity issues.

     By means of the above integrity management strategies, the Police shall continue to alert police officers of the need to maintain a high standard of integrity and discipline at all times, so that the Police shall remain to be an organisation of impeccable integrity.

     As for the content of the television programme "Police Magazine", the Police have been disseminating through the programme fight crime messages and fostering Police-public co-operation.  In addition to a lively and light-hearted presentation of latest crime trends and crime prevention tips, the programme provides the public with Police updates and enhances their understanding of the law.  To this end, the Police shall continue to produce the programme content in the light of prevailing crime trends.

Ends/Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Issued at HKT 15:55


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