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PHQ approval leads Force into the 21st century

Model planners: DFAP Keith Kwok, CSP P&D David Thomas and SSP P&D Barbara Willison sample the project model

Commissioner of Police Eddie Hui Ki-on is pleased to note the Force has secured funding for the new Police Headquarters project which would make optimum use of the site, improve efficiency and benefit both the public and the Force as a whole.

The Commissioner's remarks followed the decision of the Finance Committee to endorse funds for the PHQ project at its monthly meeting on April 28, which was attended by Deputy Commissioner of Police (Management) Tsang Yam-pui, Director of Finance, Administration and Planning Keith Kwok Ka-keung, and Acting Chief Superintendent (Planning and Development) Barbara Willison.

Commenting on the outcome of the application to the Finance Committee, Mr Tsang expressed satisfaction that through the hard work of the Planning and Development Branch planning team and the support and assistance from outside agencies such as Security Bureau, Architectural Services Department, Government Property Agency and Finance Bureau, we were able to maintain the scope of the project as originally planned and to gain the support of Legislators for all the facilities proposed. "The big effort that was made in explaining the case has helped secure acceptance of the need for facilities such as the catering facilities, auditorium, multi-purpose hall, indoor firing range, four levels of basement parking and a barbershop,"Mr Tsang said.

On the question of the officers' mess, which has attracted perhaps the most publicity and debate, Mr Tsang explained the final proposal involved moving it from the top floor to be co-located with the Chinese Restaurant on the sixth floor.

Rather than in the form of a traditional officers' mess, it would be designed as a modern executive dining area which would allow for flexibility in providing a regular catering service and a venue for various traditional functions, social events and gatherings.

Mr Kwok emphasised: "This prestigious yet dignified building will enhance Hong Kong's standing and will feature facilities that will set the Force apart from other developments.

"We are determined to complete the project on time and within budget in April 2004, so all the benefits can materialise early, enhancing convenience for both the public and Force staff."

An artist's impression of the building

"The project has presented major challenges, not the least being the accommodation of such a diverse range of activities in a single building occupying a site of no more than 7,500 metres."

Leaning on his previous experience in Works Bureau Mr Kwok added: "It was remarkable that the concept that had been initiated by the Force some three years ago, had been brought to fruition with the minimum of change. This has greatly facilitated planning and design work to proceed quickly within the original budget."

Having attended the Public Works sub-committee meeting on March 29 at which funding of the project was recommended, Chief Superintendent P&D David Thomas, explained how the project would bring about major benefits.

He said the new complex would replace three existing buildings, the facilities of which had become outdated, did not provide adequate accommodation and were costly to maintain. It would enable the provision of better service to the public by adopting a one-stop service through the co-location of various facilities with convenient access, as well as modern user-friendly public service areas.

He added the whole building would be divided into several zones, one of which would be the area used by the public to gain access to various police services. This area located between the ninth and 14th floors would accommodate units such as the Recruitment Selection and Vetting Section, Central Traffic Prosecution Section Reception, Police Licensing Office, Police Public Relations Branch, Crime Prevention, Child Protection Policy Unit, Certificate of No Criminal Conviction Office as well as providing a centralised schroff office.

There would be improved efficiency by incorporating 22 units currently housed in leased premises into one building. This would allow the Force to maximise the use of modern technology through the development of an intelligent building incorporating optic-fibre cabling and other advanced communication facilities, as well as computer flooring.

Mr Kwok and the P&D team take a closer look at the building's facilities

In addition, the new building would incorporate requirements to conserve energy and minimise recurrent maintenance costs. The modern, purpose-designed and user-friendly facilities would better equip the Force operationally to meet the demands of modern policing both now and in the future. Sufficient space would be provided to allow for expansion, something which has not always been available to new buildings in the past.

Project manager Ms Willison, who heads the Police Headquarters Development Team consisting of Superintendent Lam Chi-ning, Chief Inspector Peter Li Yick-lung, and Senior Inspectors Paul Edmiston and Judy Tsang, said securing approval for this large and most complex major capital works project was the culmination of nearly three years of planning and development. She added the 43-storey complex would house all units currently in Caine House plus Wan Chai District Headquarters and Divisional Police Station. Many operational, support, and common facilities would be included for the benefit of all Force members, for instance:

  • A multi-purpose 650-square-metre hall to be located on the 10th floor of the common facilities block. This would be designed as a venue for holding a diverse range of functions from various exhibitions to anti-crime campaigns enhancing community relations and allowing the Force greater flexibility in developing more community-based events in future;

  • A 300-seat auditorium would also be included, fitted out with modern day technological standards. It would be available for use by PHQ, and Regional and District units for a diverse range of functions including international and local police conferences and seminars, as well as Force Healthy Lifestyles, Service Quality and Living the Values seminars and workshops;

  • A library and resource centre of nearly 1,000 square metres would be included to provide both traditional and computerised research facilities for staff. This would be a purpose-designed facility and would allow officers to undertake research using the Internet and other on-line tools.

    Concluding, Mr Tsang said he looked forward to the early completion of the project and urged Force members to be patient about some of the current inconveniences. Notwithstanding that, the future state-of-the-art complex would be a facility every Force member would be proud of, a shining testimony to continuous improvement and the Force’s commitment to serving the people of Hong Kong.

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