Author: Cheuk, Chun-yin Albert
Title: Community policing in Hong Kong : an institutional analysis
Degree: D.B.A.
Year: 1999
Subject: Community policing -- China -- Hong Kong
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Department of Management
Pages: iii, 190, [36] leaves : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
Abstract: There has been a growing body of literature in Western countries demonstrating the superiority of community policing strategy and advocating its replacement for the failing traditional policing methods. Community policing is deemed more advanced because it can remove alienation of the police from the community, improve police-community communication, and foster an effective working relationship between them. More importantly it is a kind of democratic control to prevent the police from serving as a repressive agent of the state, making the police more accountable to citizens. Like the police in most Western countries, the Hong Kong Police Force also made an organised effort to depart from the traditional mode of policing to practice some forms of community policing some thirty years ago. Because it had been a British colonial police force, the Hong Kong Police (Formerly the Royal Hong Kong Police) aims to suppress crimes of violence and mass outbreaks as well as practice law enforcement. Hence there had been massive tension between the police and the public in commanding social obedience. These coupled with the rapid deterioration of public order and the decline of public trust over the police have pushed Hong Kong Police Force (the Force) to launch a series of police-community relations programmes since the late 1960s under a broader theme of community policing. These programmes aimed to improve tense police-public relations, to rebuild popular trust, and to cultivate public support for crime control. The Force has enjoyed greater success in the promotion of community relations, but with limited success in securing active public support and cooperation in the fight against crime. Little progress has been recorded too, as most community policing programmes have basically operated under the same mode since their inauguration. Viewed from an institutional perspective, this research critically reviews the community policing programmes that were implemented in Hong Kong since late 1960s to present. It aims to identify the major institutional factors that have facilitated or otherwise hindered the development of community policing in Hong Kong. This research reveals that the police have implemented five major policy initiatives under the theme of community policing. Ironically all five policy initiatives were ad hoc tactical programmes to improve souring police-public relations, to repair the police image or to deal with the prevailing crime problem facing the police at the time. Clearly the Police and the Government had committed ample resources to these programmes at the beginning but did not attempt to expand or improve them thereafter. Community policing would have developed further in Hong Kong during the period under review. However, due to many institutional constraints it did not prosper. For instance, institutional commitment and resource commitment were limited. Institutional capacity was also inadequate to complement the implementation of the community policing strategy. Furthermore, institutional incentive structures were absent to motivate the community policing practitioners. Internal supports were also lacking. There were few institutional channels for popular consultation and public participation; transparency in police operations also fell short. Most Police personnel have limited knowledge on community policing. Based on these findings, it is recommended that the Force should implement various institutional changes to complement the implementation of community policing strategy.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: restricted access

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