Wed, Jun 03, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Ko denies lack of ‘child protection’ a factor in attack

By Abraham Gerber  /  Staff reporter

Police officers yesterday patrol in front of Keelung Municipal Cheng Kung Elementary School.

Photo: CNA

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) and the Taipei City Police Department yesterday denied a city councilor’s allegations that a “child protection plan” had been removed from police duty assignments in March.

Ko faced questions about the issue at the Taipei City Council following criticism from New Taipei City Deputy Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) member.

KMT Taipei City Councilor Chin Hui-chu (秦慧珠) quoted Hou — a former director-general of the National Police Agency (NPA) — as saying that Taipei’s decision in March to cancel a “child protection plan” was a contributing factor in an attack on an elementary-school student on Friday last week.

The eight-year-old, surnamed Liu (劉), was attacked and her throat cut in a Wenhua Elementary School restroom in Beitou District (北投). She died at Taipei Veterans General Hospital the following day.

Ko said the city government’s elimination of superfluous police duties had been approved by the NPA, adding that he did not remember canceling a “child protection plan.”

He said his administration would “review” over the next month whether the plan should be reinstated because he did not want a decision to be made “under pressure” following the murder.

Taipei Police Department Commissioner Chiu Feng-kuang (邱豐光) said that the “child protection plan” was eliminated by the NPA in 2012.

However, the police department reinstated the plan following an emergency meeting after the youngster was discovered on Friday.

Police Department Deputy Commissioner and spokesman Chou Shou-sung (周壽松) said that the department’s March list of duties that were being eliminated including numerous duties that had been canceled previously because the list was meant to clearly delineate the duties for which the police were responsible.

Media reports in late March showed that the city government had published a list of 27 “superfluous” duties to be eliminated by police, including assisting in the implementation of a “child protection plan” by directing traffic around school entrances.

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