'Policing the police' scheme nabs 130,000

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 January, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 12 January, 1999, 12:00am

More than 130,000 mainland police were caught breaking the law last year by special supervisory units set up to discipline the force.

They included 27,638 who engaged in improper conduct or who broke disciplinary regulations, Xinhua quoted the Ministry of Public Security as saying.

Public complaints against police included use of violence, abuse of power, receiving bribes, protecting criminals and corruption.

Public security organs started a major investigation and review last year in a bid to make them more professional.

The special supervisory units, whose 10,000 officers wear white helmets and white insignia, are empowered to 'police the police'.

The Public Security Ministry set up a new supervisory bureau in September to co-ordinate the teams in an attempt to increase supervision and monitoring of police work.

The teams also caught 385 people pretending to be policemen and confiscated 25,180 items, including police badges that had been made and sold illegally.

There were more than 23,000 cases involving the illegal use of police badges and other false police identity items.

'Non-police cars using false police car licences or sirens have disturbed the normal life of civilians,' Xinhua said.

'The special units have tracked down police officers who gave silent approval to such abusive usage.' Those policemen found guilty of violating laws and regulations after the investigations were disciplined with party and administrative penalties or expelled from the public security apparatus. A ministry spokesman said serious offenders would be brought to court.

The ministry first set down its regulations for supervising public security organisations in 1997.

The police supervisory bureau has recently drawn up rules and regulations and introduced new mechanisms to prevent corruption and crimes within the police force.