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Government open-minded on more powers for police supervision: Wong

Fri, 11th May 2018

Secretary for Security Wong Sio Chak said Thursday that the government was open-minded about whether the Macau Public Security Forces Discipline Supervision Committee should be granted more powers, such as investigation powers for certain cases or complaints against law enforcement officers by residents.

The members of the committee are appointed by the government.

Wong made the remarks when replying to an oral interpellation by lawmaker-cum-unionist Lei Chan U during a plenary session of the legislature.

In his interpellation, Lei said that many police officers were found to have committed crimes in the past few years. He questioned whether the internal supervision mechanisms of the various law enforcement agencies were effective in preventing police officers from violating disciplinary rules or even committing crimes.

According to the 2017 annual report by the Macau Public Security Forces Discipline Supervision Committee, the committee received 121 complaints from residents against law enforcement officers that year, a large increase of 72.9 percent year-on-year.

Wong replied that the government puts special emphasis on the importance of the Macau Public Security Forces Discipline Supervision Committee, which was set up in 2005.

The committee consists of seven members appointed by the chief executive.

According to The Macau Post Daily Wong said that during a recent meeting with the members of the committee he had already agreed that the committee should have its own investigative powers for certain cases involving law enforcement officers.

Wong said that the government was open-minded as to whether the committee’s powers should be extended, adding that the scope of powers that should be granted to the committee would require studies from various segments of Macau’s civil society.

Wong also said that if the government decides that the committee should have more powers, certain matters would need to be studied, such as whether a mechanism should be set up to ensure the independence of its investigations, and what qualifications its investigative personnel should hold.

According to the committee’s website, after the committee has received complaints from residents against law enforcement officers, it will study them and write a report about its findings. It will then transfer each case to the respective law enforcement entity for follow-up actions such as the possible launch of internal investigations or disciplinary procedures.