Opinion / Opinion Line

Police must act lawfully and pursue suspects with integrity

(China Daily) Updated: 2015-06-16 07:52

A farmer in Qinghe county in North China's Hebei province was cheated out of 7.8 million yuan ($1.3 million) by a wool buyer in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong province, in 2003. The Shenzhen police finally started hunting the buyer in 2012 and caught him a few months later. But the police gave the farmer two options: get 3 million yuan back and drop the case; or send the buyer to prison and get little back. The farmer accepted the first choice, but the buyer disappeared without paying the money after the police released him and they refused to spend any more time on the case. However, after China Central Television reported the story on Saturday, the Shenzhen police said it will investigate the case again. Comments:

The police, as an important arm of law enforcement, should exercise their power according to the law impartially and protect peoples' legal rights. If the police intentionally guide the victims to reach a private settlement with suspected criminals, the police will become "private police", rather than the "people's police".

Guangming Daily, June 14

That the Shenzhen police gave the farmer two options is already an action that was against the law. Fraud is a case requiring a public prosecution according to the law, and in public prosecution cases the prosecutors have to hold the perpetrators to account even if the victims want to reach a settlement out of court.

Hong Daode, professor of criminal law, China University of Political Science and Law, June 13

This case will weaken people's trust in the police. And the frictions between the police and the public directly affect social stability, the authority of the law and the government's credibility. People should take legal means to protect their interests, and special channels should be created to resolve conflicts with the law-enforcement authorities.

Chang Wuhao, a columnist writes on, June 14

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