In Brief
Photo Feature
Healthy Lifestyle
Sports and Recreations
Bulletin Board
Chinese Version
Offbeat Home Page
HKP Home Page
Offbeat Archive

Courtesy the key for ID checks

Tactful ID checks avoid complaints

Exercising tact and understanding when conducting identity card checks can help avoid unnecessary complaints.

This was the message from the Independent Police Complaints Council in a meeting with Police, June 22.

IPCC chairman Robert Tang, SC, JP, said a number of complaints had been raised by the public recently over officers' ID check actions.

He reiterated that officers should be considerate when conducting checks and added that handling citizens with tact and understanding would avoid unnecessary complaints.

Checks have formed part of an officer's daily routine, and they must conform to these guidelines: Checks should be conducted according to the law; officers should take an objective view when making a judgement; and, they should take the legal and proper action.

While officers should be cautious of any sudden action by those checked, they should also take into account the person's feelings. Being calm, firm, patient and tactful reduces the possibility of hostility from someone upset at being checked. Courtesy such as thanking those checked for their co-operation, should be shown.

Complaints and Internal Investigations Branch Chief Superintendent Steve Chandler said the Force agreed with the IPCC's stance, however, he said no matter how courteous officers were, some people questioned would always seek the opportunity to challenge or even insult officers.

"This is when officers really need to show their skills in tact and understanding, to execute their duties while controlling their actions. The IPCC chairman and members are quite right saying that in any contact between police and the public, both sides should be tactful and understanding. Police are there to serve the public but in many respects the community also helps us do our jobs. ID checks are a valuable tool to support policing. Police officers are human with the same emotions as everyone else.

"Understanding the importance of the checks and the possible inconveniences or embarrassment to those checked, is important for both sides to consider - a two-way street," he said.

Complaints Against Police Office Senior Superintendent Kenny Ip Lau-chuen said if confrontation occurs, officers should learn from their mistakes and consider how to avoid a recurrence. "In doing so, we will improve our professional competence and public image. It is the continuous learning and professionalism of individual officers on which the Force image rests," he said.

Junior Police Officers' Association Chairman Lau Kam-wah said: "It is not uncommon for frontline officers to encounter unco-operative people. But we have to be extra cautious to avoid unnecessary disputes since most of the time, the blame is put on us by the public.

"Under all circumstances, we have to keep our emotions in control so as to do what we're supposed to do. I think this is part of our job."

<< Back to Index >>