The Auxiliary Police Force in China

Lena Y. Zhong

City University of Hong Kong

On January 11, 2016 at the 22nd meeting of the Chinese Communist Party Central Leading Group for Comprehensively Deepening Reforms led by President Xi Jinping, the Opinions on Managing the Regulation of the Auxiliary Police Force under the Public Security Organs (the Opinions) was passed. The endorsement of this document at such a high level meeting reflects the urgency of regulating the auxiliary police force in China.

In China the Public Security Police have always worked closely with a force of auxiliary police, although the latter has been variously named, most notably the joint prevention teams. Over the years efforts have been made to manage the auxiliary police elements, and sometimes even to abolish the force when public outrage is aroused with cases of auxiliary police members abusing their power.

This paper will first provide an overview of the various auxiliary police elements in the past several decades, especially in the wake of the economic reform. Then it describes the possible dilemmas the public security police have faced in handling the auxiliary police forces over the years. Thirdly, it explains the major principles as reflected in the Opinions as endorsed in early 2016. Fourthly, it introduces the Auxiliary Police Force under the Hong Kong Police Force in Hong Kong. Lastly the paper concludes by opining what the Public Security Police will need to consider when implementing the Opinions to regulate the Auxiliary Police Force in the era of economic reform.


Dr. Lena Zhong is associate professor of criminology at City University of Hong Kong. Her research interest includes policing, crime prevention, and organized crime.

Triad involvement in the Umbrella Movement: Extralegal service provider or hegemonic security agents

Lo Wing

City University of Hong Kong

Hong Kong returned to China under the principle of “One Country, Two Systems” in 1997. Its mini-constitution stipulated that the Chief Executive shall be elected through universal suffrage. In 2014, Hong Kong people thought a decision made by the National People’s Congress of China had deviated from the promise, resulting in a series of protests, police suppression, and people’s occupation of several sites for more than two months. It was the largest civil disobedience movement in Hong Kong. The police was unable to remove the occupiers. Through ethnographic research method and individual interviews, the present study found that the government temporarily lost its governance of occupied sites, which created a vacuum for triads to provide extralegal services to meet the needs of both conservative and liberal camps. The study found that triad society members were involved in protecting and attacking protestors.  The presentation will address the reasons how and why they participated in the Umbrella Movement.


Hong Kong, Umbrella Movement, Triad Society, Occupy Central


Professor Lo is the Head of the Department of Applied Social Sciences of City University of Hong Kong, specializing in Chinese triad society research. He is a member of the International Advisory Board of the British Journal of Criminology, editorial board member of Youth Justice, Asian Journal of Criminology, and British Journal of Community Justice, founding general editor of the Routledge Studies in Asian Behavioral Sciences, and founding associate editor of the International Journal of Criminology and Sociology.

Governing Public Space: The use of legal and non-legal mechanisms of exclusion in Melbourne and Frankston

N. Helps

PhD candidate at Monash University,

This project examines the tensions and complexities surrounding the use and governance of public space within Victoria. Specifically this project investigates the legal and non-legal mechanisms of control, which operate in public space and considers how they contribute to the regulation of that space, through for example excluding ‘undesirable’ populations. In order to examine the use of legal controls, this project uses the case example of Victoria’s move-on powers. Move-on powers were introduced in Victoria in 2009 and signify an extension to the social control arsenal available to police and authorised officers. These powers allow police to determine, according to their discretion, who can and cannot use public spaces by granting them the authority to move along those they deem ‘undesirable’. This project seeks to investigate how move-on powers have been brought into the process of governing public space, and the interplay between these power and other non-legal mechanisms of control (e.g. urban design and architectural initiatives).

This project also aims to extend the theoretical and methodological work of Mariana Valverde by further developing our understanding of social and spatial control. Specifically by drawing on Valverde’s work on ‘scalar analysis’ and ‘spatiotemporality’ this study will incorporate an analysis of the more nuanced and sometimes overlooked qualitative elements that shape the governance of space.


Nicola is a PhD candidate and teaching associate at Monash University. Her current research explores the tensions and complexities surrounding the use and governance of public space within Victoria.

Revisiting democratic policing

D. Palmer

Deakin University,

This paper examines the contemporary settlement concerning the idea of democratic policing in Australia. It does so through the analysis of three broad periods of police (and later policing) reforms: the mid nineteenth century, the democratic turn of the 1970s and 1980s and finally the more recent period from the 1990s to today. To a large extent the article concentrates on state police in the two earlier periods but increasingly shifts towards the inclusion of other policing authorities, in part of reflection of growing policing powers beyond state police. It is argued that current location of democratic policing within the problem of (external) accountability – as important as this is and as hard as it has been to achieve – limits a broader democratic project. Put within the theme of this conference of ‘Horizon Criminology’, it is suggested that there remain considerable challenges in the development of democratic policing within Australia, work that necessitates an understanding of and response to the democratic deficit contained within seeing the problem of democracy as one of accountability.


Dr Darren Palmer is an Associate Professor in Criminology at Deakin University, Geelong. His most recent book is Global Criminology (2015, with Ian Warren) and has a forthcoming co-edited book National Security, Surveillance and Terror: Canada and Australia in Comparative Perspectives (Palgrave, R Lippert, K Walby, I Warren & D Palmer).


The society is devoted to promoting criminological study, research and practice in the region and bringing together persons engaged in all aspects of the field. The membership of the society reflects the diversity of persons involved in the field, including practitioners, academics, policy makers and students.

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