20 October 2017

South Africa: What South Africa Can Learn From Policing in China


The scale of the Chinese policing environment is impressive, given the geographical and population size of the country. Delegates from South Africa's Portfolio Committee on Police were given a cop's eye view of how policing works in China.

I was part of a delegation comprising members of the Portfolio Committee on Police that undertook a parliamentary study trip to the People's Republic of China earlier this month. Our aim was to learn about the Chinese context and operational practice which could enrich the committee's oversight work and recommendations to promote police professionalisation and to make policing more effective in South Africa.

Certainly, the scale of the Chinese policing environment is impressive, given the geographical and population size of the country. There are approximately 20-million police in China and they deal with an average of 6-million serious crimes a year (minor and petty offences are significantly larger in number). The police training university in Beijing alone has 14,000 cadets-in-training and it is only one such training institution of 38 in China (we were told that there are about 150,000 police cadets undergoing training at any given time).

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