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HK Police Force seeks recruits to rise to the challenge

Published on Saturday, 21 Mar 2015

Applicants must be able to think clearly under pressure and have initiative

The Hong Kong Police Force is looking for high-calibre recruits to join its ranks as police inspectors or police constables. Carmen Leung Oi-lam, chief inspector of police with the junior police officer division, is clear about the qualities applicants require. "They should be able to think clearly under pressure and act on their own initiative in difficult, even potentially dangerous situations," she says.

"They should also commit themselves to preserving the security and stability of Hong Kong and be ready to rise to the challenge of a lifetime. Becoming a police officer means taking on a commitment to serve and protect our Hong Kong."

An appointed police inspector will become a leader of a team and requires the strength of character to take command of situations, and to judge and see beyond the obvious, Leung adds. To equip them for their role, probationary inspectors undergo 36 weeks of basic training and they must pass the Standard I Professional Examination before graduating from the Police College.

During their first five years of service, they then follow a structured career path that "ensures junior inspectors acquire the necessary fundamental police knowledge and skills for frontline operations and crime investigation", Leung says.

Similarly, police constables are given 27 weeks of basic training and must pass a final examination before leaving the Police College. "Police constables are invariably the first ones to arrive at the scenes of major crimes, emergencies, heated disputes and many other unexpected frontline situations. Professional and structured training is therefore essential."

A planned career path is also laid out for constables.

Leung took part in the police mentorship programme during the second year of her studies for her finance degree at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. After graduating in 2006, she joined the force, serving in various posts in the uniform branch and the crime stream before being promoted to chief inspector in 2013.

"Being a detective inspector is not easy. I find the job challenging yet rewarding. Although sometimes the working hours are lengthy and the jobs complicated, the job satisfaction I gain is invaluable and priceless.

"The most unforgettable case I have handled involved the arrest of a burglary syndicate," she recalls. "Based on intelligence and further analysis, my team planned and mounted an operation over the course of a few months and successfully tracked down a burglary syndicate that had committed over 17 cases of burglary and stolen property worth over HK$20 million."

Having benefitted from the police mentorship programme, Leung is now pleased to be able to give something back by acting as a mentor.

Bruce Lai Ko-yin, senior inspector of police in the manpower planning division of the human resources branch, had begun an alternative career prior to joining the police. Despite having studied architecture at the University of Hong Kong and spending one year working as an architectural assistant, Lai opted to change direction.

Looking back, he is happy with that decision. "Being a police inspector is the ideal career for me, as police work involves direct interactions with people on a daily basis. These interactions, and my communication with people, offer me plenty of satisfaction as I feel I am serving society."

He also believes the analytical, map-reading and drawing skills he developed during his architectural studies have helped him in his police career, especially during his attachment to the traffic formation. "While planning operations, such as the road closures for the New Year fireworks display or the anti-road-racing operation, I have had to comprehend maps and get a thorough understanding of the road network, in order to formulate an appropriate plan."

The next large-scale Police Recruitment Day will be held on May 2.

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