Chinese police vow to prioritise crackdown on sex crimes against underage victims
- The public security ministry said a crackdown on sexual assaults has so far netted more than 32,000 suspects
- The authorities have been spurred to act after a number of high-profile cases triggered a wave of public anger
The statement said the campaign had seen the arrests of 32,200 suspects around the country.
A wave of high-profile cases have heightened public concern about violent crime and sexual harassment against women.
Zhou Xiaoxuan had accused Zhu Jun, a well-known host at state broadcaster CCTV, of kissing and groping her in 2014, but the appeal was thrown out citing inadequate evidence.
News about the case was heavily censored on Chinese social media, and a video of Zhou reading out her final statement in front of her supporters outside the court was quickly taken down.
The ministry’s statement said that on Friday, Du Hangwei, the deputy public security minister, told a nationwide police conference to treat underage sexual assaults as major crimes and make it a priority to track down offenders.
Police were also asked to cast a wider net to find those who used online dating platforms to commit sexual assaults and solve historical cases.
Police also pledged to standardise evidence taking, regulate investigation protocols and step up efforts to protect victims’ privacy.
The authorities have been spurred to act by a number of high-profile cases that caused widespread shock and anger.
Nine suspects have been arrested after the assault, which left two of the victims needing hospital treatment.
A number of campaigns have since been announced, vowing to protect women, children, and the elderly from abuse.
These included the 100-day campaign while the Supreme People’s Court has pledged to hand down death sentences in the most serious cases.
The authorities have long been criticised for failing to offer victims proper support and the public security ministry has now pledged to work closely with other government agencies to offer services such as legal aid and counselling.