'Chinese police overwhelmed with workload'
Beijing: Police officers across China are under enormous pressure from the growing load of cases because the force is understaffed, a Chinese lawmaker said during an online interaction Sunday.
"Shortage of staff can mean we are not digging into cases deeply enough, which may cause possible suspects to be at large," Zhou Junjun, deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC) from Jiangxi province, was quoted as saying by the China Daily.
Zhou was attending a question-answer session with China's internet users.
This year, the NPC has organised four online question-answer sessions so that internet users could communicate directly with the lawmakers.
"Stressed and overworked police officers may present a bad attitude when handling cases because they feel restless and anxious, which will irritate the general public and make people distrust the officers," he said.
Zhou said the police station of which he is in charge has only six police officers but has to serve more than 48,000 people.
According to figures released by the ministry of public security, 2,182 police officers died while on duty between 2006 and 2010.
Officials said overwork is the top reason. Traffic police have relatively more casualties.
"That means more than one police officer died each day, and many prematurely, between 2006 and 2010," Zhou said.
He said that in some developed countries, the ratio of officers to the public is around 30 to 10,000 or even 40 to 10,000, but the ratio in China is only about 12 to 10,000.