Beijing vows rapid action against errant security officers

PUBLISHED : Monday, 03 September, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 03 September, 2007, 12:00am

Beijing authorities will respond within three days to any complaints against public security officers in the city as part of a 13-month crackdown on rogue police ahead of the Olympic Games, according to media reports.

The campaign, launched on Saturday, marks the start of enforcement of Olympics security measures and covers officers' on-duty appearance, use of police vehicles and bans on police gambling, drinking alcohol, smoking and misusing their firearms, Beijing Daily reported yesterday.

Punishment will also be doled out to officers who extract confessions through torture or who drink and drive, the report said.

'Any officer who has an improper attitude, including an indifferent or reserved manner, stiff and formal speech, shifts responsibility onto others, smokes, eats, drinks or even chats to others, while addressing members of the public, will be the focus of the campaign,' Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau spokesman Jia Chunming was quoted as saying.

Dissatisfied residents were urged to take down an offending officer's number and file a complaint at a police station or by dialling a hotline.

Undercover inspectors will visit police stations and traffic police branches to monitor behaviour.

Mr Jia said bureau inspectors would immediately verify complaints and reply within three days. Any dereliction of duty would be met with serious penalties, including possible job suspension.

The campaign is also under way in five other cities - Qinghuangdao , Tianjin , Shenyang , Shanghai and Qingdao - that will host Olympics events and be extended to some other popular tourist destinations from January 1.

Security authorities have also conducted several drills, including anti-terrorist exercises, in Beijing and Shenyang recently.

Meanwhile, Beijing has reaffirmed it will shut down unlicensed restaurants and stop contamination of food supplies as part of a nationwide four-month campaign to shore up food and product safety.

'The city will focus its quality checks on 10 kinds of products, including food, drugs, home appliances and toys,' Xinhua said.

The checks in Beijing will target vegetables, fruit, meat, edible oil, aquatic products, children's food and health foods.

'The main problem with the city's product quality and food safety lies in small food processing factories and workshops and in the urban-rural fringe areas,' Beijing vice-mayor Lu Hao was quoted as saying.