Tue, Dec 23, 2008 - Page 5 News List

China to target organized crime with new agency

DPA , BEIJING

China’s public security ministry plans to set up a new department to tackle organized crime amid an expected rise in criminal gang activity, partly caused by a slowdown in economic growth, state media said yesterday.

Police forces nationwide are watching for signs of growing crime as unemployment rises with the ongoing global financial crisis, the official China Daily quoted a top organized crime officer as saying.

The fight against criminal gangs will be a “lasting task,” the officer told the paper, which described him as a director of an organized crime unit who declined to give his name “for security reasons.”

“In the foreseeable future, gangs will remain active as the country undergoes dramatic social and economic changes,” the director was quoted as saying.

“Murder, rape, robbery, kidnapping, assault ... they dare do anything,” he said. “Gang-related crimes have become a threat to our social stability and the economy.”

As well as launching its new department, the ministry will urge the government to pass special legislation on organized crime, the newspaper said.

Police nationwide have investigated about 900 cases of organized crime since they launched a crackdown in 2006 while courts have sentenced more than 6,000 gang members over the same period.

The ministry reported a fall of 4 percent in serious crimes as a result of the crackdown, the paper said.

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