Guizhou Public Security Bureau Director-General Sun Licheng discusses targeted population management with local police. Photo credit: Guizhou Public Security.
In addition to their roles as crime investigators, Chinese police are responsible for taking proactive measures to maintain political and social stability. Increasingly, this involves Chinese police at all administrative levels carrying out massive efforts to gather and analyze intelligence about their jurisdictions in an effort to prevent crime and unrest before it occurs. This has been especially true since 2008, when the former head of the Ministry of Public Security (MPS), Meng Jianzhu, announced a nationwide goal of “public security informatization” (gongan xinxihua). Evidence of concrete applications of this new “intelligence-led policing” can be seen in measures (translated below) concerned with control of the “targeted population” (zhongdian renkou) that were adopted last December by police stations in a handful of areas in Guizhou Province.
Though few Chinese outside of law-enforcement circles are probably aware that a targeted population officially exists, local police officers are given a serious responsibility to “manage” this group, which includes individuals suspected of “endangering state security” (including those who participate in “cults” or illegal religious activity), people who use drugs, people with previous convictions, and persistent petitioners or others with grievances that might lead to protests or other forms of social unrest.
Chinese police have been keeping detailed files on the targeted population in local police stations for many years under MPS regulations first issued in 1985. Advances in technology have made it easier for police to monitor targeted persons and gather information about them, share information between law-enforcement agencies, and draw upon a wide variety of other data from government agencies to profile suspects and predict their potential to cause unrest. As one part of a comprehensive system of “social management” (shehui guanli), Chinese police are using technology to collect and analyze huge amounts of personal data in hopes that it might help them to be more preemptive in preserving social stability. In areas where stability is of particular concern, such as Tibet, pervasive surveillance measures in a system of “grid management” (wanggehua guanli) aim to feed the intelligence system with data and assist local authorities in predicting and neutralizing risks.
From the Guizhou measures, we see evidence of information from a number of databases being integrated under a comprehensive “police-station basic information system” as well as an “intelligence platform” that pushes alerts concerning particular targets to local police stations. Based on the data collected in this intelligence platform, targets are assigned points between 0 and 100 based on their predicted degree of risk. Based on that score, targets are assigned one of three color codings that determine the sort of control measures police are expected to put in place. For the most high-risk “orange” targets, the Guizhou measures call for deployment of para-police “public safety activists” and informants to carry out monitoring, and it seems very possible that additional measures—such as the kind of long-term “house arrest” carried out against individuals like Chen Guangcheng and Liu Xia—may be used by police in individual cases against those targets considered to pose extraordinary risks.
Guizhou Province Provisional Measures: click to expand
Guizhou Province Provisional Measures for Management of
the Targeted Population by Public Security Organs
Chapter One: General Provisions
Article 1: In order to protect public order and state security and further enhance management of the targeted population, these measures are hereby enacted in accordance with the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) Standards for Regularized Construction of Public Security Police Stations and Regulations for Management of the Targeted Population; the Anti-Drug Law and the Drug User Registration Measures; and the Guizhou Province Anti-Drug Regulations, Guizhou Province (Trial) Measures for Points Warning Status Control of Targeted Persons by Public Security Organs, and Guizhou Province Provisional Regulations for Application and Management of the Information System for Persons Released from Prison and RTL and in light of the current application of information technology in our province .
Article 2: These measures aim to explore ways of informatizing police work and gradually integrating the MPS Regulations for Management of the Targeted Population with the “Great Intelligence” measures of assigning points to members of the targeted population [in order to achieve] early warning and situational control and resolve the problems of the targeted population being unquantifiable, having unclear details, being hard to discover, and being unable to put under control. In these measures, targeted population refers to persons put under targeted management by public security organs on suspicion of endangering state security or social order and public safety. This includes the 20 types of targeted persons in five categories specified in MPS regulations and six of the seven categories of targeted persons (excluding fugitives) pushed through the intelligence platform.
Management of the targeted population is a basic task to be handled internally by the public security organs, and it is strictly prohibited to divulge information [about this work]. “Targeted population” is a phrase used internally by public security organs, and it is strictly prohibited to use this phrase publicly. Auxiliary personnel and other non-police personnel are strictly prohibited from accessing targeted population information.
Article 3: Public security police stations are responsible for daily management of the targeted population. Public safety units are responsible for operational guidance. Intelligence, anti-drug, custodial, legal affairs, information technology (IT), and other relevant units shall assist with management of the targeted population and build information collaboration mechanisms and facilitate information-sharing between units and types of police in order to reduce the burden on police station officers.
Article 4: Placement of targeted persons under control or removal of targeted persons from control shall be decided pursuant to an opinion on control (removal) by a community police officer of the public security police station and subject to review and approval by police station officials.
Article 5: Management of targeted persons is to be carried out chiefly by the public security police station in the place of current residence. For those targeted persons whose place of current residence and place of household registration are not under the jurisdiction of the same police station, dual control shall be carried out. For those who have migrated to other provinces, management is to be carried out chiefly by the police station in the place of household registration.
Article 6: The goal of targeted population management is the prevention, discovery, and fighting of unlawful and criminal activity; the education, management, and rescue of individuals engaging in unlawful and criminal activity; and the preservation of social order and safety.
Article 7: Management of the targeted population must uphold the principle of “Information Management, Situation Assessment, and Categorized Control” and rely on the Police Station Basic Information System (hereafter, [BIS]) to carry out information management.
Article 8: Management of the targeted population is a standardized management supported by information and data. Information concerning the targeted population includes identity, background, trajectories, present behavior, and control information. All data on the targeted population is to be uniformly provided by the BIS for use by community police officers. Information about the identity, background, and trajectories of the targeted population collected outside of the BIS is to be delivered to the BIS through a comprehensive information system platform. All social resources collected by public security organs at the prefecture and county (city, district) levels shall first be compiled by the prefectural [PSB] before delivering to police stations via the BIS. Daily management of targeted population by police station community police officers is carried out using the BIS, and community police officers must ensure that information about targeted population management is accurate and up to date.
Article 9: In order to ensure effective cooperation between all types of police in the management of the targeted population, the BIS shall be integrated into a comprehensive information system that interfaces uniformly with other public security operations systems. Real-time adjustments to the BIS shall be carried out according to changes in the operations of targeted-population management. Adjustments to operational functions are to be approved by the public safety corps, and [adjustments to] system functions are to be approved by the IT unit.
Chapter Two: Scope of Management
Article 10: The following individuals are subject to management as targeted persons:
- Those suspected of endangering state security, including suspected terrorists identified by the intelligence platform;
- Those suspected of serious criminal offenses, including information put forward by the intelligence platform regarding those suspected of unlawful and illegal activity;
- Those who because of intense conflicts and disputes have a potential to create a disturbance, engage in violent retaliation, or act recklessly, including those identified by the intelligence platform as being individuals suspected of causing instability, key petitioners, and mentally ill persons capable of creating trouble, as well as persons identified by the detention center and jail information system as persons [recently] released;
- Those who were sent to prison or reeducation through labor (RTL) for intentionally unlawful or criminal acts and who have been released for less than five years, including those persons identified by the intelligence platform as having prior records for major criminal offenses and those whom the Prison/RTL Release System identifies as persons released from prison or RTL for intentionally unlawful or criminal acts;
For those targeted persons from Guizhou who are released from prison, RTL, or compulsory drug treatment in other provinces, the police station in the place of household registration shall list them for control in the BIS upon their reporting [to the police station] or receipt of legal documents.
- Those who consume or inject drugs, including those whom the BIS identifies as being drug offenders or whom the Drug User Situational Control System identifies as drug users, as well as those released from compulsory drug treatment facilities run under the justice bureau or public security bureau.
After the Drug User Situation Control System is integrated with the BIS, police station community police shall no longer use the Drug User Situation Control System to manage drug user information.
Article 11: For those targeted persons whose place of current residence and place of household registration are not under the jurisdiction of the same police station, the police stations in the place of current residence and place of household registration shall exchange information and promptly place them under control. Within the province, use the BIS to circulate information; outside the province, use letters, the Internet, or other means to circulate information.
Article 12: Under one of the following conditions, control shall be revoked for individuals already placed under control as members of the targeted population
- Suspicion has been eliminated through investigation;
- Loss of potential to engage in crimes of office such as corruption or bribery;
- Loss of potential to engage in crimes due to advanced age or physical infirmity;
- Illegal or criminal activity was committed through negligence;
- Current imprisonment, RTL, or compulsory drug treatment;
- Release from prison or RTL for at least five years (except for those targeted individuals identified by the intelligence platform);
- Transfer of household registration outside of the jurisdiction of a given police station, when control has been established by the new place of household registration;
- Control established by the police station in the place of current residence (revocation of control may be carried out by the police station in the former place of residence);
- Drug offender who has not taken drugs again three years after treatment;
- Others who should no longer be placed under control.
Article 13: For those targeted persons already under control, the control category should be revised when the circumstances change such that the former control category is no longer applicable.
Chapter Three: Information Management
Article 14: Situation assessments for the targeted population consist of the four steps of information processing, information verification, information entry, and control registration.
Article 15: The intelligence center and public safety unit of the county level public security organ shall compare of all types of [information] resources in order to locate targeted persons for whom control has not yet been established.
Article 16: Information processing. Processing deadlines are:
For orange alerts delivered by the intelligence platform, within one hour;
For yellow alerts delivered by the intelligence platform, within 12 hours;
For blue alerts delivered by the intelligence platform, reminders regarding targeted persons sent by other information systems, targeted-person management reminders originating from the BIS, and requests for mutual assistance in establishing dual control from locations inside the province, within 48 hours.
Article 17: Information verification. Within the deadline for information entry, verify the targeted person’s basic details and get a handle on his or her current behavior and situation by checking the information and conducting fieldwork investigations.
Article 18: Information entry. Community police officers from the police station shall enter information regarding the information verification and current behavior and situation into the BIS.
Article 19: Assessment of points. Assessment of points for targeted person shall be conducted according to Chapter Four of these measures.
Article 20: Control registration. Register the [type of] control [to be imposed] in the BIS according to the targeted person’s category and circumstance and within the stipulated time period.
Article 21: Information feedback. The BIS shall feed details about management of the targeted population to the relevant information networks: Information about a targeted person’s current behavior, assessed points, and control measures shall be fed into the intelligence platform. Information about a drug user’s current behavior and urinalysis results shall be fed into the Drug User Situation Control System. Information about control established over individuals released from prison or RTL shall be fed into the Prison/RTL Release System. Feedback deadlines are as follows:
For orange alerts sent by the intelligence platform, within 48 hours;
For yellow alerts sent by the intelligence platform, within 72 hours;
For blue alerts sent by the intelligence platform, targeted person memos sent by other information systems, and targeted-person management memos originating from the BIS, within seven days.
For dual-control mutual assistance requests from inside the province, within seven days.
Article 22: Location of targeted persons not yet under control. For those targeted persons over whom control has not yet been established, community police officers shall apply to the intelligence center for temporary control while simultaneously try to locate them using information from various social resources such as family-planning, insurance, broadcasting, water and electric utilities, communications, gas, or student records together with transient population information from places they might be and notify the police station in the place of residence to establish control.
Chapter Four: Situation Assessment
Article 23: Assessment of points. Assess points based on a targeted person’s current behavior, divided between system-generated points and manually-generated points. System-generated points are used as reference, whereas manually-generated points are used to determine the final points assessed to a targeted person.
Article 24: System-generated points are points automatically assessed by the BIS for current behavior based on information entered by community-based police officers on current behavior and trajectory information provided by other systems in accordance with the Targeted Population Current Behavior Points Regulations.
Article 25: Manually-generated points are points assessed by community police officers, using the system-generated points as a reference, on the basis of a comprehensive assessment of the targeted person’s present risk and current behavior. When the community police officer believes that the system-generated points accord with the targeted person’s present risk, the system-generated points serve as the final assessed points. When the community police officer believes that the system-generated points do not accord with the targeted person’s present risk, he or she may directly assess points based on the targeted person’s present behavior but must make a note of the reason [for the intervention].
Article 26: Accumulated points correspond to three color levels: orange, yellow, and blue. Orange is 80 points or above, corresponding to high-risk targeted persons. Yellow is 50 to 79 points, corresponding to targeted persons of concern. Blue is 49 points and below, corresponding to ordinary targeted persons.
Article 27: When a targeted person’s accumulated points change, the community police officer of the police station may revise the targeted person’s control category.
Chapter Five: Control categories
Article 28: Police stations shall employ different control measures and control frequencies for different color categories of targeted population information.
Article 29: Orange information corresponds to targeted persons suspected of being a major and present risk. The police station community-based police officers must take management and control measures and arrange for public safety informants or public safety activists to carry out strict control. For high-risk targeted persons, the frequency of management and control by community police officers should be at least once per month.
Article 30: Yellow information corresponds to targeted persons suspected of being a relatively large and present risk. The police station community-based police officers must pay close attention. For targeted persons of concern, the frequency of management and control by community police officers should be at least once per quarter.
Article 31: Blue information corresponds to targeted persons suspected of being a minor and present risk. The police station community-based police officers must carry out help and education measures. For ordinary targeted persons, the frequency of management and control by community police officers should be at least once every six months.
Chapter Six: Work Evaluation
Article 32: Targeted population control work shall be subject to evaluation and assessment and shall serve as one major index in evaluating the work of public security police stations and community police.
Article 33: Evaluation of targeted population management work shall be carried out by the public safety unit. Evaluation of community police officers shall be carried out by the police station. Evaluation of the police station shall be carried out by the county (city, district) public security (branch) bureau. Evaluation of the county (city, district) public security (branch) bureau shall be carried out by the municipal (prefectural) public security bureau.
Article 34: The main areas for evaluation of targeted population control work are the role and effectiveness of targeted population control work in the discovery, prevention, and fight against criminal activity, and quantitative evaluation is made on the basis of four areas including processing rate, entry rate, and control rate. Evaluation score = (processing rate + entry rate + control rate) /3 * 100.
Article 35: Processing rate = number processed on time / number of system alerts
Article 36: Entry rate = number with data entered / number of system alerts
Article 37: Control rate = number under control / number that should be under control
Article 38: Police stations with a control rate of less than 95% or a targeted-population-not-yet-under-control rate of over 80% will have their police station qualification assessment revoked.
Article 39: Evaluations concerning targeted persons put forward by the intelligence platform will be made according to the intelligence agencies’ evaluation measures.
Chapter Seven: Additional Provisions
Article 40: These rules take are to be implemented in Yunyan, Qingzhen, Honghuagang, Suiyang, Jinsha, Weng’an, and Kaili from April 20, 2012. All public security organs in the province are encouraged to actively promote them.
Article 41: Incentive measures for targeted population management work are to be improved following a trial process.
Article 42: Public security organs and public safety offices at all levels in the trial areas may consult these rules to enact detailed implementation rules and measures for evaluation incentives.
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