Date
24 September 2017
Winnie Chiu Wai-yin, Hong Kong's first woman deputy police chief in the 173-year history of the force, says female officers have an advantage over males in softening tensions. Photo: HK Gov.
Winnie Chiu Wai-yin, Hong Kong's first woman deputy police chief in the 173-year history of the force, says female officers have an advantage over males in softening tensions. Photo: HK Gov.

Deputy chief touts advantage of female police officers

Female police officers have an advantage over their male colleagues in toning down tense situations, says the newly appointed deputy police chief.

Winnie Chiu Wai-yin was promoted to deputy commissioner of police in early July, making her the first female deputy chief in the 173-year history of the Hong Kong Police Force, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

Chiu started her career as an inspector in 1983. The gender disparity in the force has improved in recent years, she said. Female police officers have an edge over their male counterparts in daily duties, which could be seen from the rising proportion of women to men in the force.

Chiu cited the South Korean farmers’ protest in Hong Kong during the Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization in 2005 as an example of female police officers taking up frontline duties. They were effective in smoothing tensions in the incident.

She said females have a detailed mind capable of bringing people closer, which is particularly crucial in handling victims of sexual abuse. Female officers have to console the victims as well as take statements from them.

She said male and female officers have their own strengths and complement each other. The force, according to Chiu, emphasizes teamwork rather than individual action.

Chiu also said following the development of gender equality in society, female police officers are viewed equally as their male colleagues, in terms of training and promotion opportunities, Apple Daily reports. Compared with 9.5 percent in 1990, females currently account for 16.3 percent of the police force.

At the rank of inspector or above, women also constitute 28.6 percent of the police personnel this year compared with 11.3 percent in 1990. At the rank of superintendent and above, females currently make up 21.1 percent, a leap from 2.7 percent in 1990, reaching international standards.

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