The Cabinet on Friday endorsed a draft bill to revise the Police Law in an effort to restore public trust after a series of scandals.
The draft is expected to be submitted to the current session of the Diet, a government official said.
The draft contains several points for organizational reform of the police.
Under the proposed bill, public safety commissions, which oversee the police in each prefecture, would be able to tell the forces to investigate specific police scandals and recommend punitive or other steps to be taken.
The draft, however, does not recommend inspections of police forces by an outside body, as advocated by opposition parties.
The chief superintendent as well as the chief of a prefectural force would be required to report reprimands of officers to the public safety commissions.
Citizens would also be able to file written complaints against officers with the commissions, which would then be required to release a report on the results of an investigation into each case.
The draft also stipulates setting up a police chief’s panel at each headquarters to collect local residents’ opinions and proposals to help prevent crime in the regions, the official said.
Such panels would be made up of members of local district organizations, lawyers and schoolteachers, among others. The official said the panels would be modeled on the police-community consultative groups that were established in Britain in 1984.
A number of serious scandals have tarnished the image of the nation’s police in the last year.
They include the coverup of drug abuse by officers, the murder of a woman whose harassment complaints were ignored by police, bullying within the Kanagawa Prefectural force and the erasure of traffic violation records by Niigata Prefectural Police.
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