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Tuesday, December 20, 2016, 12:40

Police to recruit 900 frontline staff

By chinadailyasia.com

Police to recruit 900 frontline staff
Police Commissioner Stephen Lo Wai-chung meet with media at Police Headquarters on May 4, 2015. He said the police plan to recruit about 900 new frontline staff on Dec 20, 2016. (China Daily / Roy Liu)

HONG KONG -- Hong Kong Police plan to recruit around 900 new frontline staff to do with the growing frequency and hostility of public assemblies , Commissioner of Police Stephen Lo Wai-chung said on Tuesday.

Lo said the newly recruited frontline staff will be assigned primarily to Emergency and Tactical Units which are responsible for handling large-scale events .  Earlier, the local Chinese newspaper Ming Pao reported that 320 out of the 900 newly recruited police will be in the Emergency Unit, while another 200 will be in the Tactical Unit.

Police to recruit 900 frontline staff
This Feb 9, 2016 photo shows a rioter throwing bricks at police in Mong Kok, Hong Kong. (China Daily / Edmond Tang)

The application must await government approval before police can bring the new staff on board. The expansion, once approved, will be the largest since Hong Kong’s return to the motherland in 1997.

The expansion, once approved, will be the largest since Hong Kong’s return to the motherland in 1997

Lo noted that the increasing confrontation in the public assembly was also one of the factors led to the consideration.

Lo said the decision to increase staff was made after reviews of public security conditions, anti-terrorism situations and population growth.

Currently, the police force has 33,945 employees, 90 percent of which comprise the disciplined force. The force employed 35,072 members in 1999, the largest it’s ever been.

The expansion will cost the government more than HK$200 million in annual expenditures. In the meantime, the police maintain an ongoing review of equipment and facilities in light of changing conditions.

Police to recruit 900 frontline staff
Rioters set up a blockade on Des Voeux Road West in Sai Wan on the night of Nov 6, 2016, blocking traffic on the road, after they attempted to storm the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong SAR.  (China Daily / Edmond Tang)

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