Hur­dles in drug fight re­main for po­lice

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By AGEN­CIES

A lack of fo­cus on the drug prob­lem and in­suf­fi­cient help for ad­dicts are the big­gest ob­sta­cles po­lice face in tack­ling drug-re­lated crimes, ac­cord­ing to the Min­istry of Pub­lic Se­cu­rity onWed­nes­day.

In Oc­to­ber, the min­istry ini­ti­ated a spe­cial ac­tion that by the end of the year had un­cov­ered 52,800 drug crimes and led to the ar­rest of 60,500 sus­pects, in­creases of 42.9 per­cent and 47.5 per­cent over the same pe­riod in 2013, fig­ures pro­vided by the min­istry show.

Po­lice also seized 11 metric tons of var­i­ous drugs.

“Although we have achieved a cer­tain amount of suc­cess, fight­ing drug-re­lated crimes re­mains a long-term process,” Liu Yue­jin, di­rec­tor of the min­istry’s Nar­cotics Con­trol Bureau, was quoted by China Cen­tral Tele­vi­sion as say­ing.

He said some lo­cal gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials lack aware­ness and pay lit­tle at­ten­tion to con­trol­ling drugs and to the po­ten­tial risks of drug-re­lated crimes.

“In­cen­tives for in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ment seem to sur­pass those for drug pro­hi­bi­tion work,” Liu said.

He said there is a lack of pro­fes­sional ca­pa­bil­ity in com­bat­ing drug crimes, and many anti-drug po­lice of­fi­cers can’t adapt to cur­rent drug pro­hi­bi­tion work due to old equip­ment and in­suf­fi­cient per­son­nel.

As Spring Fes­ti­val comes and largenum­ber­sofmi­grant­work­ers re­turn home, the ex­am­i­na­tion and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of sus­pects need to be con­ducted with spe­cial care, he said.

“Es­pe­cially in China’s bor­der ar­eas, such as Yun­nan and Guangxi, which bor­der Myan­mar and Viet­nam, we should en­hance the in­ves­ti­ga­tion of sus­pi­cious peo­ple and ve­hi­cles to pre­vent cross-bor­der drugsmug­gling,” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to Liu, drug pro­hi­bi­tion work and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion tasks have been car­ried out in­suf­fi­ciently in com­mu­ni­ties, where neigh­bor­hood staff should con­duct reg­u­lar in­ves­ti­ga­tions of ad­dicts, help them aban­don drugs and pub­li­cize the harms of drugs.

In ad­di­tion, China pro­duces large sup­plies of chem­i­cals that can eas­ily be used to pro­duce drugs, es­pe­cially in ar­eas of Guang­dong, Hubei and Hu­nan prov­inces.

“The on­go­ing coun­try­wide cam­paign has­nowen­tered the most cru­cial phase,” Liu said.

Anti-nar­cotics of­fi­cers around the coun­try will take the ini­tia­tive to un­cover ma­jor drug crimes and tar­get the main gang sus­pects.

In ad­di­tion, they will en­hance ju­di­cial co­op­er­a­tion with other coun­tries with a view to shar­ing in­tel­li­gence and case in­ves­ti­ga­tion to bust ma­jor transna­tional drugsmug­gling gangs. Zhang Yan and Zhong Yi­meng con­trib­uted to this story.

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