A poll shows that the popularity rating of Hong Kong firefighters has hit a record high, while police were rated as the least popular of the city’s nine disciplinary forces.

The poll, conducted by the University of Hong Kong’s Public Opinion Programme (HKUPOP) in late May, found that the Fire Services Department received a 84.2 satisfaction rating from around 600 respondents – a record high since the poll began in 2012.

Firefighters rested on the roadside after an operation. Photo: Hunt King Pho via HK incident Facebook.

Firefighters have led the poll over the last five years. In the latest poll, it was followed by the Government Flying Service, at 79.5 marks – also a record high since 2012.

The third most popular disciplinary force was the Auxiliary Medical Service, at 78.9 marks.

Coming last in the poll is the police force, which was given a 64.1 rating. Its net satisfaction rate was 35 per cent, compared to 96 percentage points enjoyed by the Fire Services Department.

The other two least popular forces were the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), with a 64.1 satisfaction rating, and the Immigration Department, at 69.8.

Last year, the ICAC was rated less popular than the police force, which held the bottommost position since 2014.

‘Very good’

HKUPOP Research Manager Frank Lee Wai-Kin said there were no drastic changes in the overall rankings of all disciplinary forces. “In terms of absolute ratings, all nine disciplinary forces get more than 60 marks, six of which are above 70, which is very good,” he said.

Photo: HKFP/Tom Grundy.

He asked people to “form their own judgement” as to the possible factors behind the difference in popularity ratings among the forces.

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Meanwhile, the popularity rating of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Hong Kong Garrison now stands at 63.3 marks, compared to 62 marks last year.

HKUPOP began the regular surveys on Hongkongers’ satisfaction with the police force and the PLA Hong Kong Garrison in 1997.

In 2012, it revised the survey design by first asking people to name the disciplinary forces that they are most familiar with, and then ranking their top six most familiar forces.

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Ellie Ng

Ellie Ng has written for Foreign Policy, the Daily Telegraph, Global Voices Online and others.