The Police The Hong Kong Police Force has distinguished itself as at sea. Marine Region is also one of the main agencies in one of the oldest, yet most modern, police forces in the the Hong Kong search and rescue organisation geared world. towards maritime operations both within and outside Hong Formed in 1842 with a total strength of 35, the Force Kong waters. evolved from an extremely broad-based role, embracing Marine Region has developed a new, two-part such matters as fire-fighting, prisons and immigration, to operational strategy called Versatile Maritime Policing that of a traditional police service. As at May 1, 2008, the Response (VMPR) which has come into operation in phase Force had a strength of 27 437 of which 14 per cent since 2007, providing an improved police service at were women officers. It also had a backup of 4 683 civilian reduced cost with an enhanced Command and Control staff. System and faster craft offering a more flexible policing The Hong Kong Auxiliary Police Force was originally response. formed in 1914 as a reserve to assist in times of natural disaster or civil emergency. As at March 31, 2008, 3 842 Operations: Force operational matters are coordinated by volunteer citizens supported the regular force to perform the Operations Department, which comprises two wings, a crowd control duties at public events and festivals. The traffic headquarters and six regions. The department is ability to assist during times of emergency is retained. charged with the formulation and implementation of Police in Hong Kong operate within the traditional policies, the monitoring of activities and the efficient constabulary concept of preserving life and property, deployment of personnel and resources. preventing and detecting crime and keeping the peace, The Operations Wing coordinates counter terrorism, with a strong emphasis on enlisting community support. In internal security, anti-illegal immigration measures, bomb times of emergency the Force has a paramilitary capability. disposal commitments and contingency planning for natural disasters and is also responsible for the Police Dog Structure: The Force is commanded by the Commissioner Unit. of Police who is assisted by two deputy Commissioners. The Police Tactical Unit (PTU) has an establishment One deputy Commissioner supervises all operational of six companies (1 020 officers). The PTU provides an matters and the other is responsible for the direction and immediate manpower reserve for use in any emergency. coordination of the management of the Force, including PTU companies are attached to all land Regions and are personnel, training and management services. available for internal security, crowd management, anti- The Force Headquarters is made up of five crime operations and disaster response duties throughout departments: Operations; Crime and Security; Personnel Hong Kong. The PTU also provides up-to-date instruction and Training; Management Services; and Finance, and training in internal security and crowd management Administration and Planning. For day-to-day policing, the techniques for a wide cross-section of Force members. Force is organised into six regions: Hong Kong Island, The Anti-Illegal Immigration Control Centre is Kowloon East, Kowloon West, New Territories North, New responsible for collecting intelligence and monitoring Territories South and Marine. The Regions are largely operations in respect of illegal immigrants from the autonomous in their day-to-day operation and Mainland, Vietnam and South Asian countries. management matters, and each has its own headquarters The Support Wing oversees the execution and staffing which comprises administration and operation wings, and of operational support matters, including the formulation of traffic and criminal investigation units. Each region is operational policies for both the regular and auxiliary divided into districts and divisions and in a few cases sub- forces. It is also responsible for the various licensing divisions. Currently there are 23 districts. functions of the Force. The coordination of all public The policing of Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the relations activities is arranged through the Police Public main towns of the New Territories follows a similar pattern. Relations Branch. Responsibility for law and order on the underground The Traffic Headquarters is responsible for railway system, which runs through several police districts, formulating Force priorities, policies and procedures on is vested in the Mass Transit Railway District. traffic matters, coordinates their implementation and The Marine Region, with a fleet of 149 launches and monitors their effects. It processes all traffic prosecutions craft, patrols some 1 651 square kilometres of waters and collects and maintains traffic-related data. The Traffic within Hong Kong including the busy harbour and 261 Headquarters offers advice on traffic management matters, outlying islands. This involves the control of some 13 000 monitors local traffic schemes and new major infrastructure local craft, pleasure boats and ferries and a maritime projects. It also formulates, supports and monitors road population of 3 100. Shore patrols are regularly mounted to safety educational and enforcement programmes. maintain contact with inhabitants of small islands and The Transport Division is responsible for the isolated communities. management and deployment of the Force vehicle fleet of In addition to normal policing functions, the Marine approximately 2 500 vehicles, the driver establishment Police fleet is also responsible for maintaining effective law and the acquisition of new police vehicles. It also and order within Hong Kong waters with particular administers all policy matters relating to police transport emphasis on countering illegal immigration and smuggling requirements. Crime and Security: The Crime and Security Department headquarters and other government departments is responsible for the Force policy regarding the informed, and provide additional resources and specialist investigation of crimes and matters of a security nature. services when required. Regular patrols are carried out by Crime Wing consists of a number of operational bureaux Uniform Branch beat constables and vehicles of the and specialized units. The operational bureaux deal with Emergency Units. Response time in emergencies is kept to specific areas of criminal activity whereas the specialized an absolute minimum by means of a beat radio system units provide support services to operational units in the which enables close contact with regional controllers and Force and deal with policy matters on various issues all patrol officers. including child abuse, domestic violence and witness Regional traffic units are responsible for road accident protection. Security Wing provides VIP protection and investigation, road safety and day-to-day traffic security co-ordination, including counter-terrorism and enforcement. A Traffic Warden Corps assists in enforcing related training. laws relating to parking offences and in regulating traffic. The Organised Crime and Triad Bureau (OCTB) investigates major organised and serious crime involving Personnel and Training: The Personnel Wing is all types of activities such as theft/smuggling of vehicles, responsible for all core human resource management human smuggling, firearms, vice, debt collection, functions, including recruitment, promotion, career syndicated gambling and extortion. It also investigates triad development, conditions of service, staff relations and societies and their hierarchies with particular emphasis on welfare matters. their involvement in organised crime. The Police College sets the overall training policy and The Criminal Intelligence Bureau (CIB) is the Force’s coordinates all Force-wide training courses.Recruit and central coordinating body for intelligence on crime and continuation training, criminal investigation training, police criminality which, after analysis and assessment, is driving and traffic training, weapon tactics training and disseminated to crime investigation units as required. In periodic courses on firearms and first aid are provided at addition, the CIB works closely with the OCTB and other the Aberdeen and Fanling campus of the College. Crime Wing bureaux in tackling triad and organised crime Information technology training, command training, syndicates. To strengthen the criminal intelligence local and overseas management training as well as other capability within the Force, the Bureau also organises specialist courses are also provided by the Police College. related training courses and seminars for investigators. The Commercial Crime Bureau investigates serious Management Services: The Information Systems Wing commercial and business fraud, computer-related crimes, has two branches and one bureau dealing with the forgery of monetary instruments, identity documents communications, information technology and business and payment cards, and the counterfeiting of currency and services. coins. It liaises very closely with international law The Communications Branch designs, acquires, enforcement agencies on exchange of intelligence and in examines and maintains all Force communications actioning requests for investigation from other jurisdictions networks and equipment including radio, video, alleging criminal conduct in relation to commercial navigational aids, speed detection radar, mobile phones, transactions. pagers, office telephones and mini firing range equipment. The Narcotics Bureau investigates serious drug cases The Information Technology Branch is responsible for such as importation and manufacture of illicit drugs, and the planning, development, implementation, operation and gathers intelligence in relation to major drug activities. It maintenance of information technology systems. It has also conducts investigations in partnership with overseas over 10 000 terminals installed throughout Hong Kong law enforcement agencies whenever there is a Hong Kong supporting the Force in the spheres of command and connection to international drug trafficking. The Bureau is control, criminal records, crime intelligence analysis, also responsible for financial investigations arising out of fingerprint identification, reports to Police, human and the Drug Trafficking (Recovery of Proceeds) Ordinance, financial resources planning and management, transport Organized and Serious Crimes Ordinance and the United management, licensing, and e-mail. Nations (Anti-Terrorism Measures) Ordinance. The Business Services Bureau coordinates the The Liaison Bureau coordinates all police-related business needs of the five departments of the Force. It inquiries from overseas police organisations and local consists of the Business Services Division, the e-Police consular officials. It also maintains close liaison with the Division, the Security and Support Division, and the Major mainland Public Security Bureaus, the Police Liaison Office Systems Division which acts as the System 'Owner' for of the Central People's Government and Macao Police. As systems used Force-wide. a sub-bureau of the China National Central Bureau China, The Service Quality Wing is responsible for it represents the Force in the International Criminal Police spearheading initiatives to improve services provided to Organization (ICPO). Liaison Bureau is also responsible for Force customers both external and internal. The Wing handling all overseas jurisdictions requests for Mutual comprises two branches: Research and Inspections Legal Assistance to Hong Kong and on the arrest and Branch (RIB) and Complaints and Internal Investigations extradition of fugitives. Branch (C&IIB). The Wing is responsible for implementing The Support Group is made up of units which provide the Force Strategy on Service Quality which aims at a technical and professional service to support criminal promoting efficiency, effectiveness and economy, whilst investigation, including the Criminal Records Bureau, the pursuing continuous improvement, by identifying issues Identification Bureau, the Forensic Firearms Examination which may have strategic policy significance and Bureau, the Major Incident Investigation and Disaster conducting research and inspections to seek out the best Support System Unit, the Witness Protection Unit and the practice. The C&IIB includes the Complaints Against Police Child Protection Policy Unit. Besides, the Crime Prevention Office (CAPO) and the Internal Investigations Office (IIO). Bureau also provides advisory security services to the CAPO oversees the investigation and successful resolution Government, commerce and industry, and the public in of all complaints made both externally and internally general. The Group also fulfils a liaison responsibility for against members of the Force. The work of CAPO is the Forensic Pathology Service and the Forensic Science closely monitored by the independent Police Complaints Division of the Government Laboratory. Council to ensure that all complaints against Police are Day-to-day regional police operations are coordinated fully and impartially investigated. IIO is responsible for the at the four regional command and control centres which investigation and monitoring of allegations of serious are computer-assisted. They serve as information centres, misconduct and corrupt activities against members of the monitoring all events in the regions and keeping police Force. Finance, Administration and Planning: The Finance development of new police buildings/facilities.Through Wing is responsible for the financial management, forensic monitoring the territory’s infrastructural development accounting and support services, stores and internal and population growth, P&D initiates planning strategies on audit of the Force. The Administration Wing looks after Force property and accommodation. The Branch the management of civilian staff, and is also responsible also oversees and organises maintenance programme for Force establishment matters and the management of for all existing police buildings, to improve cost- the Police Museum. The Planning and Development effectiveness of the Force estate and meeting operational Branch (P&D) is responsible for the planning and requirements. Published by the Information Services Department, Hong Kong Police Force Home Page address: Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government GovHK Website: http://www.gov.hk http://www.police.gov.hk/ July 2008 Information contained in this publication may be freely used. No acknowledgement is necessary.
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