New law officializes off-duty security officers’ disciplinary obligations

The statute of personnel of the security service force highlights that the government has officially included off-duty security force officers’ disciplinary obligation in the law.
In August, the Legislative Assembly (AL) preliminarily passed this new law. Yesterday, the Third Standing Committee of the AL carried out a discussion on the detailed provisions before the AL votes on the law article by article.
Article No.83 of the law states that, for the effect of this law, a disciplinary infraction is considered to be the culpable behavior for the personnel of the security forces and of the services that, by omission, violates the general or special duties inherent to the person’s function, even if outside the effective exercise of functions, provided that they contend with the dignity and public prestige of security forces and security services.
After the committee meeting, Chairman of the AL Third Standing Committee Vong Hin Fai commented that the new law has made an explicit definition regarding disciplinary violations by the personnel of the security force.
He has pointed out that when off-duty officers’ conduct directly and indirectly damages the reputation and the image of the security force, or directly or indirectly leads to the public having doubts about the security force’s actions with respect to justice and morality, the officers may also be held accountable for violating the discipline.
According to Vong, the security force has always implemented the policies to punish off-duty violations. The government is only officially writing down the regulation in this new law to officialize the policy.
The lawmaker also explained that the government does not mean to interfere with the private life of the personnel of the security force by writing the aforementioned policy in the law.
Vong mentioned that how members of the public view the cases is a key standard in evaluating disciplinary cases concerning off-duty officers.
The lawmaker exemplified this by arguing that there is no problem with security force personnel to consume alcohol off duty, however, the concerned individuals will probably be considered to have violated the law in cases where the person commits violence under the influence of alcohol.
In regard to this article, the law also prescribes five years and 10 years as retrospective periods for personnel of the security force and for personnel of the judiciary police, respectively. Retired security service personnel are not subject to the policy.

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