chapter  9
10 Pages


ByGeorge Chak Man Lee

The barriers to building a trusted police service in China and India are: 1. The politicisation of police and the criminalisation of politics, leading to a tendency in favour of the rule by man rather than the rule of law, with India being more prone to this danger than China; 2. Historical cultural legacy of master versus servant (India) and father versus child (China) relationship between police and the masses. The cultural traits engendered by this legacy contribute to reinforcing the behaviour and attitudes of police officers to favour disregarding rather than protecting/safeguarding their citizens’ rights, as well as, a preference for substantive justice over procedural justice. Indeed, in India, the attitude is that no matter what happens on the ground (e.g. fake encounters), if the paperwork is in order then that is the most important thing to get right. The focus on presenting a ‘legitimate’ cover story rather than being transparent and openly learning from mistakes is also part of the culture found in both organisations; 3. The organisational culture of tolerance towards corruption/malpractices can be said to be an extension of the master/servant and father/child effects and consequences; and 4. Finally, another barrier is the effect of poor morale in both police forces. However, this is more acute in the Indian police due not least to the apathy and resentments caused by poor pay and working conditions. This is even more so for the rank-and-file personnel who feel that they are not cared for and that ‘everyone is only looking after number one’. Consequently, these barriers have contributed to the increasing alienation and distrust of both the Chinese and Indian police.