Officers told that public can film police
Some police officers said on Wednesday that new rules allowing members of the public to record the behavior of on-duty officers will serve as a constant reminder not to abuse power. But others were concerned about their identities being exposed during undercover work.
On Tuesday, the Ministry of Public Security started a training program for officers around China. It features a 70-minute video showing the correct way to handle different situations in close contact with the public.
The detailed new protocols said officers shouldn’t prevent the public from recording their behavior if the filming does not interfere with them. They are also not allowed to grab video devices and delete footage.
We always film the law enforcement procedures with our personal recorders anyway, so we don’t mind people filming.” An officer from Beijing’s Haidian district
“We always film the law enforcement procedures with our personal recorders anyway, so we don’t mind people filming. Now we know people will be always watching us, so there is no room for misconduct,” said an officer from Beijing’s Haidian district who gave his surname as Wang.
Another officer, who said he often handles anti-terrorism cases in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, had a different perspective: “Sometimes the missions we carry out are undercover. If the public posts the video footage online it could blow the officers’ cover and sabotage the entire operation.” The officer spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The protocols state that police officers should inform people to delete and not spread videos showing minors or national secrets.
Public Security Minister Guo Shengkun said on Tuesday that officers need to get used to supervision from the public and being recorded when they carry out their law enforcement duties.
The new program aims to prevent officers from abusing their power and to keep an eye on law enforcement behavior generally. Some officers’ misconduct in recent years has damaged the image of the police, the ministry said.
Under the protocols, police are required to control their emotions during the course of their duties and to avoid inflammatory words. In a recent case, an online video showed an officer in uniform displaying a bad temper when dealing with two young women on the way to a police station.
Also, when suspects, or those associated with them, resist law enforcement, officers are directed to use mild disengagement and restraint maneuvers instead of physical assaults.