Police scrap ranking system
Updated: 2013-11-22 11:23
By Hou Liqiang (China Daily)
Police in Henan province have scrapped a ranking system based on the number of cases solved in a bid to avoid unjust, false and erroneous cases, according the province's public security authorities.
According to the 10 measures introduced by the province's Department of Public Security, some "unscientific" and "unreasonable" evaluation indicators like "the number of solved cases" should be removed, and the indicators should not be used for ranking purposes.
The system was thought to pressure police to come up with results through improper methods such as interrogation by torture.
Police who are involved in unjust, false and erroneous cases will be disqualified and receive punishment, according to the new measures.
Wang Yalin, a lawyer from Jinyatai Law Office in Anhai province, welcomed the end of the old system.
"The rate of solved cases has long been considered a major factor contributing to erroneous cases in China," Wang said.
Zhang Xiaolei, an official from the Office of Legislative Affairs at the Department of Public Security of Henan Province, told China Daily that the number of solved cases usually affected promotions.
Some police chiefs were even demoted due to their poor statistics on solving crimes, Zhang said.
"Sometimes the ranking was even made every 10 days and a notification of the ranking was made every 15 days, putting the heads of police stations under huge pressure," Zhang said.
However, Zhang said that the system didn't affect officers' salaries.
Abolishing the system will help reduce the number of false prosecutions, Zhang said.
A policeman, who wished not to be named, told China Daily that because of the pressure officers were under, cases were sometimes kept secret from higher level departments until the suspects had been found.
He said the new measures will help senior officers to keep track of the progress made on major cases.
Hua Liebing, a police officer at the Department of Public Security of Henan Province, said the move is a positive one.
However, it is not the only reason for false prosecutions, he said.
Henan police came under close scrutiny after Zhao Zuohai, 61, from Shangqiu, Henan province, was acquitted of a murder charge and released in May 2010 after spending eight years in prison.
Zhao was convicted of murdering a man from his village and was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve. However, the "dead" man came back to the village on April 30, 2010.
Zhao received 650,000 yuan ($106,700) by way of compensation.
To prevent similar miscarriages of justice, Henan High People's Court designated May 9, the day when Zhao was released, as a warning day for unjust, false and erroneous prosecution.