China among countries with lowest crime rate as violent crime plummets over past five years: top procuratorate
Published: Feb 15, 2023 01:59 PM Updated: Feb 15, 2023 09:57 PM
File photo

File photo

The number of people prosecuted for violent crimes such as homicide, robbery and abduction in 2022 was the lowest in nearly two decades, and China now enjoys one of the lowest crime rates and highest sense of security scores globally, China's top procuratorate said on Wednesday, citing data. 

Sun Qian, deputy procurator general of the Supreme People's Procuratorate, said during a Wednesday press briefing that the percentage of people prosecuted for severe violent crimes was 3.9 percent, dropping from 25 percent in 1999. Of all criminal cases prosecuted, 85.5 percent were minor offences carrying a penalty of under three years. 

An index reflecting people's sense of security has increased to 98.6 percent in 2021 from 87.5 in 2012. 

Chinese procuratorates filed 42,000 cases involving organized crimes in the past five years, and more than 3,600 "protective umbrellas" for such crimes, usually referring to officials, were prosecuted, Sun said. 

On anti-graft crimes, 78,000 government staff members and officials were prosecuted, including more than 100 who originally held provincial, ministerial or senior posts. 11,000 individuals were prosecuted for giving bribes. 

Sun also noted a change in crime categories. 

Theft, which topped both the list of cases filed and cases prosecuted for more than four decades, was replaced by dangerous driving, or drunk driving, in 2019. In 2022, 18.2 percent of all the prosecuted cases were drunk driving, while 13 percent were theft related. 

Cyber-crimes have shown an aggravation trend - 129,000 individuals were prosecuted for related crimes in 2022, ranking No.3 on the category list. Among them, tele fraud is a key area of prosecution significantly impacting the public interest. 

Sun Qian outlined that procuratorates across the country have practiced leniency and strictness. People whose deeds constitute crime, but for which the violation is minor and they have no intention of escape, suicide or destroying evidence, can be exempted from arrest. 

As a result, detention before prosecution keeps dropping, standing at 26.7 percent in 2022, compared with 54.9 percent in 2018 and 42.2 percent in 2020. 

The procuratorate system also enhanced supervision on investigation, preventing illegal and violent evidence collection and safeguarding suspects' and defenders' rights. From 2018-22, procuratorates across the country informed public security organs to withdraw some 130,000 cases that should not be filed, and file 120,000 cases that should have but were not filed. 

Over the past five years, procuratorates appealed in 41,000 cases, increasing 18.9 percent from the previous five-year period. Among them, courts concluded some 31,000 cases, amending verdict or ordering retrial for 22,000. 

Global Times