HKPF recruits Hong Kong students studying in mainland to tackle staff shortage
Published: Jul 27, 2023 09:12 PM
The Hong Kong Police Force. Photo: Fan Lingzhi/Global Times

The Hong Kong Police Force. Photo: Fan Lingzhi/Global Times

Faced with staff shortages, the Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF) began holding a recruitment campaign in the Chinese mainland for students from Hong Kong from late 2022, and as of late June, 128 students have passed the selection process for the position of police constable, the Global Times learned. 

This is also the first time that the HKPF has successfully recruited Hong Kong students studying in the mainland, Junior Police Officers' Association chairman Lam Chi-wai told the Global Times on Thursday. "They are also Hong Kong permanent residents who have moved from Hong Kong to the mainland for study. According to the Basic Law, there are regulations that state the recruited students cannot be residents of the mainland."

The HKPF has been conducting the Police University Recruitment Express (Mainland) in major mainland cities since last November to give recruitment talks to Hong Kong students and arrange on-site recruitment selection, according to local media reports. 

Among the 447 applicants, 128 had passed the selection process for the position of police constable as of June 30. They are undergoing other recruitment procedures, including integrity checks and medical examinations, local media outlet the Standard said. 

"Successful applicants will be recruited by July 31 at the earliest, while the selection process of the other 319 applications is still underway," according to a document submitted to the Legislative Council on Wednesday.

Over the past few years, it's undeniable that the police force has faced recruitment difficulties. Not only has it been hard to attract "new blood," but there has also been a high attrition rate among current staff, with many individuals leaving before retirement age for various reasons, Lam said.  

The HKPF has been trying every possible means in recent years to improve recruitment, introducing fresh promotion policies. Not only have they resumed recruitment in local universities, but they have also removed some outdated entry restrictions, all in an effort to attract ambitious and capable individuals to join. 

"Now, the HKPF is making efforts to recruit Hong Kong students from the mainland and overseas who have a passion for Hong Kong and want to return to join the police force," Lam said. Policing, in addition to being a stable job, brings a sense of job satisfaction and pride. 

This is believed to be a major incentive for these individuals to return to Hong Kong and join the police force, which is an encouraging trend, he said. 

The HKPF has been the backbone in safeguarding the city's stability, especially during the social turmoil of 2019.