Text Box: Chongqing: Busting gangs takes toll on police

Text Box: By Wang Jingqiong (China Daily)

Text Box: Updated: 2009-10-08 10:00

Text Box:  

Text Box: The crackdown on gangs in Chongqing is taking its toll on the police force as well.
More than 7,000 officers have been working up to 16 hours a day without holidays - with several illnesses and even one death associated with overwork, the Chongqing Evening News reported.
"We don't know what a holiday is," a policeman in the Chongqing municipal police bureau was quoted by the newspaper as saying.



He said ever since the launch of the campaign targeting gang crimes in June, he gets only five hours of sleep a night and has no time to take care of his family.
"But I think it's worth it. You feel like a real policeman when you arrest gangs and do something for the people."
One officer, 39-year-old Cheng Ming, a former teacher who joined the force in 2003, died on Oct 1 from overwork.
His family will receive 1 million yuan ($147,000) from a police foundation launched by the municipal government.
More than seven officers have died on the job since the beginning of the year.
Another officer, 47-year-old Han Xinzhong, had not even returned home for 21 days when he suddenly suffered a stroke while interrogating a suspect on Aug 14. The doctor later said the stroke was due to overwork. Han is recovering at hospital.
Liu Guanglei, secretary of the Chongqing politics and law committee, said the campaign has now reached its final phase. Chongqing police have arrested more than 600 suspects and prosecutors have charged 263 of them in the first eight months, the China Youth Daily reported.