Minister of Public Security Zhao Kezhi vowed on Aug 29 to redouble efforts, through a three-year campaign, to sweep out organized crime nationwide.
As the leading force against organized crime, police must fiercely attack criminal gangs in a variety of areas, Zhao said.
Zhao made the remark during a conference on Aug 28 about pushing forward the campaign in Shanxi province. He said law enforcement needs to encourage more people to provide tips to the police so that criminal gangs have nowhere to hide.
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council jointly released a document on Jan 24 announcing the launch of a new round in the campaign against gangs, which have even been found to have tried taking control of political power at the grassroot level.
Organized crime is often deeply interwoven with corruption. Previous cases have shown that behind gang-related crimes are usually corrupt officials who offer shelter to criminals. Therefore, the campaign will particularly target the officials who protect them.
Zhao said officials and public security officers who serve as “protective umbrellas” for the gangs won’t be condoned and must be removed from the government and law enforcement teams.
While targeting gangs, the police also need to focus on preventing new gangs from emerging, he said.
To ensure the success of the campaign over three years, the central leadership decided to send 10 teams around China to supervise local authorities’ work in fighting gangs.
After spending a month in Hebei province, the first central inspection team found that local authorities had failed to get to the bottom of the cases despite Hebei authorities’ vow to trace the relationship network and the protective umbrellas.
Also, cooperation between law enforcement and local anti-graft watchdogs is not close enough, according to Xinhua News Agency on Aug 29.
The team also followed through on some tips from the public. During its inspection in Zhangjiakou, Hebei province, team members met with 37 people who provided information and later discovered a protective umbrella in the area — a deputy head of the city’s public security bureau.
Since July, the Hebei Commission for Discipline Inspection and the provincial supervisory commission have investigated 145 officials who allegedly had connection with criminal gangs.
Inspection teams will be dispatched to nine other provinces by Aug 31.