The New Power Party (NPP) yesterday called for reform of the police following a series of incidents which the party said showed a lack of discipline and proper training in police departments nationwide.
On April 16, 10 men invaded Taipei’s Zhonglun Police Station and damaged property, but none were held accountable and accusations of malpractice at the station arose after it was revealed that surveillance footage of the incident had been deleted.
On April 23, an officer at Taoyuan’s Jhungli Police Station handcuffed and detained a music teacher for nine hours after she refused to identify herself and described her detention as “stupid.”
Chao Chieh-yu (趙介佑), who was expelled from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on Saturday for alleged involvement in drug trafficking, racketeering, assault and kidnapping related to organized crime groups, was reported to have in 2018 used his connections to meet with a friend who was being held in the cells at Taipei Police Department’s Beitou Precinct.
The officer at Jhungli Police Station cited Article 6 of the Police Power Exercise Act (警察職權行使法) to justify his actions, which authorizes officers to verify the identity of people in “designated public places, roads and checkpoints,” NPP caucus whip Chiu Hsien-chih (邱顯智) said.
However, the same article also states that a verification of identity should be made “only when considered necessary to prevent crimes or deal with events that may affect major public safety or social order,” he said.
“In other words, the police are allowed by law to ask people in ‘crime hotspots’ to identify themselves. However, there are no specific standards that constitute ‘crime hotspots,’” Chiu said.
To avoid disputes, the National Police Agency should conduct an analysis of cases where people refuse to subject themselves to inspection, which would help it to stipulate specific guidelines governing police inspections in designated places and train police officers to handle various situations, he said.
The agency should also review whether it is appropriate to frequently arrest people at checkpoints for insulting officers whenever there are verbal disagreements, as that only increases the tension between the police force and civilians, he added.
NPP Legislator Claire Wang (王婉諭) said that Chao meeting with a prisoner in Beitou and posting a photograph on social media exposed the connections between police, political parties and organized crime.
NPP deputy caucus whip Chen Jiau-hua (陳椒華) criticized officers at Zhonglun Police Station for not arresting the men who invaded the station and damaged a computer, as well as for deleting video footage of the incident.
“How can the public trust the police to enforce the law if key evidence goes missing or is destroyed?” Chen asked.
Hsiao Ren-hao (蕭仁豪), a criminal investigator and a member of the advocacy group Taiwan Police Union, said that police training and the performance evaluation system affects how officers conduct inspections, adding that they are more likely to enforce laws unfairly if they are related to how they would be evaluated.
“Police officers at Beitou Precinct and Zhonglun Police Station were penalized and transferred to different jobs without a substantial investigation,” Hsiao said.
The union mentioned these problems at the National Congress on Judicial Reform in 2018, but the National Police Agency has done nothing or little about them, he said.
“Recent events show there are many unresolved issues in the work environment facing law enforcement officers. The government and political parties should support the union, which can raise issues and seek to resolve them,” he added.
SMALL RESPITE: The past few rainy days, which came after one month of virtually no rain on the west coast, did not ease Taiwan’s water shortage problems, the CWB said A weather system from southern China has over the past three days replenished Taiwan’s reservoirs with almost 16 million tonnes of water, giving Taiwan a slight relief from a water shortage, the Water Resources Agency (WRA) said yesterday. From 12am on Tuesday to 4pm yesterday, about 15.97 million tonnes fell in the catchment areas of the nation’s reservoirs, which is slightly more than Taiwan’s average daily water use, it said. However, the rain would ease today, with only isolated showers forecast in Hualien and Taitung counties, as well as in southern Taiwan, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said. For other regions, cloudy to
A debt dispute between a restaurant owner and a criminal ring might be behind a bizarre cockroach attack at the Taipei eatery on Monday night while it was hosting a police gathering, Taipei Police Commissioner Chen Jia-chang (陳嘉昌) said yesterday. Preliminary findings of a police investigation into the case at the G House Taipei suggest that the unusual incident might have been directed at the restaurant’s owner, who allegedly owes money to the Bamboo Union, Chen said. The suspects were Bamboo Union members and there was no evidence indicating that the cockroaches were targeted at the police officers at the restaurant, he
Taiwan’s armed forces should closely monitor China’s development of a new tanker aircraft, as it would significantly boost the Chinese air force’s capability to carry out long-range raids, a military expert said on Wednesday. Ou Si-fu (歐錫富), a research fellow at the Institute for National Defense and Security Research, said in an online article that China is developing a tanker variant of its Y-20 military transport aircraft, known as the Y-20U. The Y-20 has a maximum take-off weight of 220 tonnes and the tanker variant is expected to carry up to 60 tonnes of fuel, more than three times the maximum
TRAVELING WHILE CONTAGIOUS: The highest risk of infection is indoors, especially in settings where people take off their masks to eat and drink, an expert warned The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday posted a list of places visited by people who were recently diagnosed with COVID-19 while they were likely contagious, urging people who visited the sites at the same time to practice self-health management. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that confirmed case No. 1,129 — a woman in her 60s who works at Novotel Taipei Taoyuan International Airport, a designated quarantine facility, and tested positive on Friday — visited Chiayi between Friday last week and Monday. On the first day of her trip, she visited the Big Chiayi