The legislature yesterday abolished a 60-year-old system in which the police were responsible for carrying out household inspections, in a move experts said would improve public order and advance the protection of basic human rights.
The passage of an amendment to the Statue Governing Duties of the Police (
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Wu Yu-sheng (
"The revision will offer a solution to the nationwide shortage of police officers," he said.
Wu said the original regulations had required the police to spend a total of 801,840 hours a month conducting household inspections nationwide, given the assumption that each officer needed an average of 20 hours per month to carry out the task.
"If an officer is on duty for 240 hours per month, the removal of the duty would be equivalent to having 3,341 more police officers in the country," Wu said.
The change was supported by the Ministry of Interior, which is charged with oversight of the police administration.
Vice Minister of the Interior Chien Tai-lang (
"In the past, the inspection system was often used as an excuse for the police to enter people's homes and collect information about ordinary people," Chien said when the amendment was presented to the legislature for a preliminary review in March.
"Although it did contribute to maintaining public order, the system needs to be examined in light of the progress that has been made in democratization and the implementation of law and order," he added.
Taiwan Solidarity Union Legislator David Huang (
He added that the regulation should had been revised a long time ago.
"Having the police conduct household inspections was a relic of the martial law period, when the government commissioned the police to closely monitor the public," Huang said.
He said that the revised regulations would help to improve public order, as it would allow the police to make better use of their time and focus on "problematic" households.
Wu Chia-pei (
The revision clearly defines the separation of duties between the police and the household registration administration, she said.
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