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Saturday, May 21, 2016, 12:34

Police practices to be standardized

By Zhu Zhe and Cao Yin

Police practices to be standardized
A member of the paramilitary police stands guard at Tiananmen Square in Beijing on Dec 2, 2015. (AFP PHOTO / WANG ZHAO)

China's central leadership called on Friday for more standardized law enforcement so that the people can feel justice in all law enforcement practices and in every case.

The call comes amid a series of cases that have occurred nationwide and involve allegations of abuse of police power.

A meeting on Friday of the Leading Group for Overall Reform, presided over by President Xi Jinping, required the establishment of a professional police force with standardized law enforcement practices.

The management of law enforcement should be "systematic" and procedures should be documented or recorded, to ensure that police power is used properly, according to a statement released after the meeting.

"Relevant authorities should strive to let the public feel social justice and fairness in every single law enforcement and every single case," the statement said.

The recent case of Lei Yang, 29, who died in police custody after a vice raid on May 7 in Beijing, has prompted questions by the public about whether the police used excessive force.

Prosecutors in Beijing are investigating the case to see if there was any police misconduct involved. No conclusion has been reached.

Yang Weidong, a law professor at the Chinese Academy of Governance, said that the latest requirement from the top leadership is very timely, since police abuse and brutality do exist.

"Some police officers are rude or even torture suspects in interrogations, while some don't inform suspects' family members in a timely manner," Yang said.

Zhao Li, a criminal lawyer in Beijing, said that many law enforcement officers, especially police, do not follow standardized practices.

"For example, some police officers don't show their identity card while performing their duties ... which is against regulations," Zhao said.

The lawyer said the message sent by Friday's meeting is very encouraging, but further measures are needed.

Yang suggested that every law enforcement procedure be recorded so that police behavior can be put under public supervision.

"Police must shoulder more responsibilities and learn how to get along with the people," he added.

Reform to speed up

At Friday's meeting, leaders also called for speeding up supply-side economic reform, which aims to trim excess capacity and use resources more efficiently. In addition to further opening-up, efforts will particularly target sectors like State-owned enterprises, taxation and finance and the pricing system.

Cui Jia contributed to this story.

Contact the writers at zhu-

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