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