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Norms for urban management ahead of Olympics

Updated: 2007-12-05 09:43

BEIJING -- Beijing on Tuesday released a set of norms for the city's urban management officers in a bid to promote "civilized methods" of law enforcement ahead of the 2008 Olympic Games.

The norms, written in the newly-made measures on how urban management officers should exercise their power and responsibilities, requires them to maintain "civilized language" and "dignified conduct" in the process of law enforcement, and bans any abuse of power or verbal and physical assault on others.

The regulation, which will be in effect from January 2008, also requests urban management personnel to properly keep confiscated properties, which will be open for claims from the original owners.

Besides, the new measures clarifies the roles, duties and law enforcement authority of urban management officers, who are entitled to rights such as checking city sanitation and street vendors' licenses, and making administrative punishment on findings of violations.

Public hearings should be organized upon request if the amount of punishment exceeds 1,000 yuan (136 US dollars) for individuals and 30,000 yuan (4,116 US dollars) for organizations, according to the norms.

Urban management officers have long been criticized for their arbitrary and sometimes crude enforcement methods, and conflict with street peddlers is frequent.

A roadside vendor from north China's Hebei province stabbed and killed an urban management officer in Beijing last year, after his tricycle from which he sold grilled sausages without a licence had been confiscated by the officer.

The case has stirred up a controversy about the sometimes aggressive methods of street inspectors.

Legal experts believed the regulation will help to protect the rights of the under-privileged migrant population in Beijing while also preserving law and order in the Olympic host city.