Posts tagged ‘Police’

12/01/2017

Service With a Smile in Xi’an – China Real Time Report – WSJ

In China’s ancient capital Xi’an, police are taking charm lessons from high-end innkeepers.

The Public Security Bureau in the city’s Chang’an district sent more than 20 officers to a nearby luxury hotel to study “Smiling Services” on Sunday, a few days after a local TV news program aired footage criticizing police and other local bureaucrats for poor customer service.

It’s a rare case of public agencies turning to private companies for working advice in a country where officialdom has long enjoyed the superior status.

The news report focused on difficulties people have in getting a Hukou, an essential local residence certificate in China, and the service they received from desk officers at the local police station.

The report came on the heels of a pledge by new Xi’an’s municipal party secretary, Wang Yongkang, that he would serve as a “five-star waiter” for local residents, and drew a sharp response from local Communist Party officials.

“We are all the waiters for the people. We should not only serve people well, but also should serve them better than five-star hotels and try to devote wholeheartedly to become people’s ‘Five-star Waiters,’” an article posted on the website of the Xi’an Communist Party’s municipal committee said.Chinese people have long complained about poor service from bureaucrats, with many saying their sole focus is on pleasing their superiors, not the people they are paid to help.

Mr. Wang’s “five-star pledge” has resonated throughout Xi’an and appears to have inspired the undercover news report on police services. The same news program aired a similar report targeting bureaucrats in the city’s business registration offices two days before it took on the police.In the wake of the latest news story, Public Security Bureau officials said they held emergency meetings to watch the program and criticize involved officials before coming up with a plan to seek advice from a local five-star hotel, which wasn’t identified.

The police officers received a PowerPoint presentation on the hotel staff’s serving standards and observed their work on site, according to sanqin.com, a local media site which was allowed to tag along at the sessions. Public Security Bureau officials declined to comment to The Wall Street Journal.

A photo posted on Chang’an Public Security’s social-media account showed police officers smiling behind the hotel desk counters, attending to “guests” played by hotel employees. Another photo showed police officers listening attentively to lectures and carefully taking notes.

The effort didn’t impress everyone, judging by responses in social and traditional media.“The timely response of local authorities toward local media exposure is worthy of praise,” Nanfang Daily commented, but it went on to question the value of the charm lessons. “Smiling shouldn’t be a fake smile. It’s better to come from the heart.”

One commentator on social media said people would simply be happy if bureaucrats did their jobs correctly.

“Citizens don’t ask you to extend warm welcome and farewell or deliver some star-level service,” this person said. “What we ask for is only that you answer questions and solve problems according to the rules.”

Source: Service With a Smile in Xi’an – China Real Time Report – WSJ

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18/02/2015

China orders compensation to acquitted death row prisoner | Reuters

A court in China’s southern city of Fuzhou ordered compensation of 1.14 million yuan ($182,000) to a former death row prisoner who was acquitted on charges of poisoning two children, state media said on Tuesday.

The rare acquittal of Nian Bin, a former food stall owner who was freed in August after a court in Fujian province found there was insufficient evidence, prompted renewed calls for the abolition of the death penalty in China.

Nian, 39, was accused of poisoning his neighbors with rat poison, leading to the death of two children and injuries to four others in July 2006.

But he said he was tortured into confessing during police interrogations and had pursued his appeals for years, an effort closely watched by human rights lawyers in China and global rights groups.

He was convicted several times and spent 8 years in prison before being acquitted.

The intermediate court made the ruling on Sunday, and on Tuesday announced that Nian “should be paid 589,000 yuan for loss of personal freedom and another 550,000 yuan for mental suffering,” the official Xinhua news agency reported.

China’s ruling Communist Party has said it aims to prevent “extorting confessions by torture” and halt miscarriages of justice with a “timely correction mechanism”, after a series of corruption investigations involving torture outraged the public.

via China orders compensation to acquitted death row prisoner | Reuters.

19/10/2014

Police firearms: Weaponised | The Economist

WHEN five assailants armed with long knives started murdering bystanders at a railway station in the south-western Chinese city of Kunming on March 1st, the first police to respond were ill-equipped to fight back. Most had no guns, which ordinary officers typically go without. One who did quickly ran out of bullets. Some officers used their batons while others resorted, bravely but ineffectually, to wielding fire extinguishers which they found at the scene. A specially trained unit of police with guns arrived as long as 20 minutes later and shot four of the attackers dead.

The government promptly decided it must make weapons more readily available to police. It has acted quickly to do so—some critics say too quickly and too rashly. The increased deployment of guns to rank-and-file officers raises the prospect of abuses in a system that lacks public accountability for police misconduct against citizens. It has also increased the risk of mistakes by poorly trained officers who are unfamiliar with weapons. In recent months Chinese media have reported on at least two deaths in police shootings where local witnesses suggested the use of deadly force may not have been justified. In May in Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan province, police accidentally fired a handgun into the floor at a kindergarten lecture on personal safety. A child and four parents were injured.

China bans the possession of guns by civilians, and makes only rare exceptions. The government has similarly long resisted arming police with firearms. The process of getting permission to carry a gun was often so onerous that few police bothered to try. Since the army was called in to shoot civilians demonstrating in Beijing in 1989, China has beefed up its paramilitary police force, the People’s Armed Police (PAP), in order to handle unrest. But the PAP does not handle ordinary crimes and is run separately from other police forces.

Fan Xin, a Beijing-based American expert on police firearms who worked as a policeman in Los Angeles between 2000 and 2006, says the government’s reluctance to arm the police had been partly out of fear that the guns would be misused. But this led to a failure properly to train those who did carry them. Mr Fan describes an “antiquated” system in which police are rated for accuracy in shooting at a target from a stable position on one knee, rather than for speed and judgment in more realistic conditions. He also notes that many police are trained to use semi-automatic handguns but then go on to be issued with revolvers.

Some special police units in big cities are reportedly better trained than small-town officers. The recent expansion of such units has been rapid and striking. The city of Shanghai has deployed 125 mobile units of elite armed police around the city since May, each carrying at least two guns (following America, Chinese media often describe them as SWAT, or Special Weapons and Tactics, teams). Fifteen groups of ten officers each—all in blue Ford vans—patrol one tourist district near the Huangpu river. One of them is often parked on the Bund, Shanghai’s famous riverfront, close to revellers taking wedding photographs. Another is often stationed near People’s Square; during a recent rush hour the driver and a few of the squad in the back could be seen smoking cigarettes. If a terrorist strikes on their watch, they are allowed to shoot on sight.

Some citizens worry about reckless use of police firearms, but many see a need for greater, and more visible, protection. The attack in Kunming in March appeared to be the work of extremist Uighurs, who are a mostly Muslim ethnic minority from the western region of Xinjiang. It has been seared into the country’s consciousness. State media refer to it as China’s version of the September 11th attacks against America. Xi Jinping, the president, has echoed George W. Bush, America’s president at the time, saying that China is conducting a “people’s war on terror”.

Armed police have become a feature of this war. In a Xinjiang border town in July, police shot and killed at least 59 Uighurs in a conflict that state media said was initiated by a mob of locals who attacked government offices, killing 37. Uighur groups abroad allege that the real death toll was much higher.

via Police firearms: Weaponised | The Economist.

12/03/2014

Police: Rebels kill 18 soldiers in central India – Businessweek

Police say Maoist rebels have killed 18 paramilitary soldiers in an ambush in central India.

Mukesh Gupta said rebels ambushed a paramilitary camp on Tuesday in a remote and dense forest in Chattisgarh state.

The police said the rebels surrounded the camp and opened fire, killing 18 instantly. Several others were injured in the attack in the Jiram Ghati area in southern Chattisgarh.

The rebels, who say they are inspired by Chinese revolutionary leader Mao Zedong, have been fighting for more than three decades in several Indian states, demanding land and jobs for agricultural laborers and the poor.

via Police: Rebels kill 18 soldiers in central India – Businessweek.

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18/02/2014

* China tells police to go nationwide with vice crackdown | Reuters

China’s government told police across the country to get tough on prostitution, gambling and drugs following an expose in the “sin city” of Dongguan, where a crackdown on prostitution led to the detention of nearly 1,000 people this month.

The announcement, on the Ministry of Public Security‘s official website late on Monday, said investigations had begun in several provinces, and police had broken up 73 vice rings and closed down 2410 prostitution and gambling dens over the past week.

China outlawed prostitution after the Communist revolution in 1949, but it returned with a vengeance following landmark economic reforms three decades ago, and has helped fuel a rise in HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Gambling is also banned in China with the exception of heavily regulated state-sanctioned lotteries.

While periodic sweeps against vice have been carried out, it has thrived. Law enforcement is often lax.

In a warning to what the authorities call the “protective umbrella” of official collusion, the ministry said officials would be “seriously investigated, and crimes will be resolutely investigated in accordance with the law”.

via China tells police to go nationwide with vice crackdown | Reuters.

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13/01/2014

Police drill realizes 9-year-old’s dream – CHINA – Globaltimes.cn

In order to fulfill a 9-year-old disabled schoolboy\’s dream of being a police officer, local police and residents in Xinyu, Jiangxi Province, simulated a hostage situation on Saturday.

However, critics have said that the move used public resources to allow the local police department to show off.

The 30-minute exercise was held at a square near a supermarket in Xinyu, at noon on Saturday. In the drill, two robbers kidnapped three people, and demanded the police send a car and 1 million yuan ($165,200) in cash.

During the standoff, a robber asked the boy, who was in a wheelchair, to send water to him. He first requested the boy drink some of the water and the boy obliged him.

When he passed the water to the robber, a policeman pushed the wheelchair and subdued the robber. Another thief was also caught by police, the Web publicity center under the Xinyu Party committee publicity department told the Global Times on Sunday.

The boy, Zou Junyi, was awarded the medal \”brave little police officer\” by Xinyu Mayor Cong Wenjing at the scene.

Before participating in the exercise, the boy visited the local police training camp and experienced the work of traffic police on the same day, Ao Weibing, the director of the center, told the Global Times. Zou said that the police did not spend any money on these activities, except to make a small uniform for Zou.

Zou suffers from muscular dystrophy, with the symptoms presenting since he was 6 years old. He lost the ability to walk in December, Zou\’s mother, Chen Qingmei, told the Global Times, adding that her family has spent about 500,000 yuan to treat the disease and can not spend any more.

\”Our family was touched. These special experiences can help my son build his confidence to fight the disease and overcome difficulties,\” Chen said.

Ao learned about the boy\’s dream when he visited him in December, and decided then that he wanted to find a way to help.

The drill was inspired by a US case in which 7,000 people in San Francisco, including the city mayor, helped 5-year-old leukemia patient Miles Scott make his wish – Batkid saves city – come true in November, according to Ao.

via Police drill realizes 9-year-old’s dream – CHINA – Globaltimes.cn.

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28/09/2013

Chinese police rescue 92 abducted children – BBC News

Chinese police have rescued 92 abducted children and held 301 suspected members of a huge trafficking network, the authorities say.

They say two women were also freed in an operation involving police forces in 11 provinces of the country.

The traffickers are believed to have targeted children in the south-western Yunnan and Sichuan provinces and then sold them in other regions.

Child-trafficking has become a serious problem in China, correspondents say.

Critics blame the country’s one-child policy and lax adoption laws, which they say have created a thriving underground market for buying children.

Some families buy trafficked women and children to use as extra labour and household servants, as well as brides for unmarried sons.

Last year, more than 24,000 abducted women and children were freed in China, according to the public security ministry.

It said that some of those kidnapped had been sold for adoption or forced into prostitution.

Greater freedom of movement as a result of China’s economic reforms is thought to have made it easier for trafficking gangs to operate.

via BBC News – Chinese police rescue 92 abducted children.

20/07/2013

China officials held over watermelon-seller death

BBC : “Six urban security personnel have been detained by police investigating the death of a fruit seller in southern China, state media say.

Local residents demonstrate with a banner saying "urban enforcers (chengguan) killed people" in Linwu county, central China's Hunan province, 17 July 2013

Deng Zhengjia, in his 50s, died on Wednesday in Chenzhou City, Hunan.

He was hit with a weight from a set of scales after a row erupted with the officials, known as “chengguan”, Xinhua reported, citing Mr Deng’s niece.

The six are being held on suspicion of intentionally harming others, added the news agency.

 

The row in Linwu county, Chenzhou, erupted after Mr Deng, 56, and his wife tried to sell home-grown watermelons at a scenic riverside spot without a licence, the county government said in a statement.

Having asked the couple to leave, “the enforcers temporarily confiscated four of the watermelons, requesting that the couple sell their melons in an authorised location instead”.

The couple began “insulting” the officers when they encountered them again 50 minutes later, the statement said.

“The enforcers tried to reason with the couple, the dispute between the two sides became a physical conflict, and in the process Deng Zhengjia suddenly collapsed and died,” it added.

There were anti-chengguan protests in Linwu on Wednesday, and the fruit seller’s death has also sparked outrage on China’s microblogs.

In July 2011, the death of a disabled street vendor who was reportedly beaten by local law enforcers sparked a riot in Guizhou province.

Who are the chengguan?

Urban law enforcers tasked with enforcing ”non-criminal administrative regulations” such as traffic, environment and sanitation rules

Chengguan operate separately from the police

They are employed by the Urban Administrative and Law Enforcement Bureaux of their individual cities

Critics call them “violent government thugs”

Reports that a disabled street vendor was beaten to death by chengguan in 2011 sparked riots in China’s Guizhou province

There are thousands of chengguan in at least 656 cities across China, Human Rights Watch says

The chengguan, or Urban Management Law Enforcement force, support the police in tackling low-level crime in cities and have become unpopular with the Chinese public after a series of high-profile violent incidents.

“They are now synonymous for many Chinese citizens with physical violence, illegal detention and theft,” said Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch (HRW), in a report last year.

via BBC News – China officials held over watermelon-seller death.

25/08/2012

* 37 criminal suspects in Angola sent back to China

China Daily: “A total of 37 suspects involved in violent crimes targeting Chinese in Angola of west Africa were sent back to China under police escort Saturday.

They arrived in Beijing by air on Saturday morning.

The suspects, all of Chinese nationality, were allegedly involved in kidnapping, robbery, blackmail, human trafficking and forcing women into prostitution, said the statement from the Ministry of Public Security.

Chinese police sent a special team to Angola and, with the cooperation of local police, they cracked 12 criminal organizations and 48 criminal cases, rescuing 14 Chinese victims, the statement said.

The victims also returned to China on the same flight.

It was the first time Chinese police launched a large-scale action against crimes targeting Chinese in Africa, setting a new example of cooperation with African police, said Liu Ancheng, head of the criminal division under the ministry, at the airport.

Early this year, the ministry received a request from Chinese Embassy to Angola to help curb violent crimes targeting nationals in the African state since last year.

During the visit of Angolan Minister of Interior Sebastiao Jose Antonio Martins to China in April, Chinese Minister of Public Security Meng Jianzhu reached an agreement with him on sending police to help solve the problem.

According to investigations, a number of Chinese nationals were involved in serious crimes and handed out extreme brutality such as beating, burning victims after pouring gasoline on them and burying victims alive, to extract ransoms. Some were found taking young women to Angola and forcing them into prostitution.

In August, more than 400 Angolan police officers and Chinese police teams launched a joint raid against the gangs and arrested the suspects.

Also, local police arrested 24 accomplices in Fujian and Anhui provinces.

Police are confident and capable of improving law enforcement cooperation with foreign counterparts and protecting the safety of its citizens abroad, Liu said.”

via 37 criminal suspects in Angola sent back to China[1]|chinadaily.com.cn.

19/07/2012

China Daily Mail

A Frenchman who was being held in Cambodia because of his alleged links to Beijing’s biggest political scandal in two decades has been flown to China, where he is wanted as a witness in the case, Cambodia’s information minister said on Wednesday.

Patrick Henri Devillers, 52, was detained last month in Cambodia, where he had been living for several years. He was held at the behest of China because of his suspected business links to the wife of deposed Chinese politician Bo Xilai.

Information Minister Khieu Kanharith told reporters that Devillers, an architect, had taken a flight from Cambodia to China late on Tuesday and that he had left of his own free will, without an escort from the French embassy.

“He voluntarily went as a witness,” he said, adding that China had given an assurance that Devillers would only be required for up to 60 days…

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