Police asked not to stop public videotaping law enforcement

Updated: 2016-07-27 14:34

By Guo Kai(chinadaily.com.cn)

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In a move widely praised by internet users, the Ministry of Public Security announced on Tuesday that people can take photos or shoot videos of on-duty police officers.

As long as it does not interfere with law enforcement work, police should not stop onlookers from recording the police work, the ministry said during a police training course.

If the cases are related to state secrets and juveniles, police should tell people not to take shoot and to delete the footage voluntarily, otherwise, they will be held responsible.

Lots of internet users praised the new regulation. They said the ministry has announced steps that are in line with modern times, will improve police work and boost transparency of law enforcement.

On Sina Weibo, a Twitter-like service, Chinatodt said: "I support this new regulation, it is good. The law enforcement is becoming more modern."

The people should be held accountable if they spread photos or videos that reveal state secrets or spread rumors, said user Liu Yong pku.

In the past, there have been cases where law enforcement authorities have brutally forced onlookers to stop taking photos or videos during police work. The heavy-handedness has been one of the major factors that has hurt police image.

According to law, police are supposed to record all events, but in many cases they either do not follow the rules or are unable to provide the records.

The ministry reiterated Tuesday that police should record their work and keep the records for possible queries.

In May, police could not provide video footage of a man who was detained on suspicion of visiting prostitutes in Beijing. The man later died in custody. The case is under investigation.

The 70-minute video training also focused on how police check individual's ID card. Police in plain clothes should first show their identification and police in uniforms should show their identification when asked.

Police are asked to control their emotions during the course of their duty and avoid inflammatory words.

An online video showed that a policeman in uniform showed bad temper when dealing with two young women on the way to a police station. He said he could keep them in a cell of AIDS/HIV patients.

A police investigation showed that this happened over a dispute over the policeman's checking of women's ID cards. They said the policeman did not show his police identification.

The video training told police how to save people who are drowning and how to use police weapons.

The ministry has asked local authorities to research specific law enforcement behaviors to improve their capabilities.