NPA denies setting up data bank of 'high-risk' people

Taipei, May 9 (CNA) The National Police Agency (NPA) reiterated Monday that it has not asked local police to establish a data bank of what it described as "high-risk groups" and has only asked them to keep an eye on people who have displayed anti-social behavior. The statement rebutted a recent report by the Apple Daily newspaper that the agency has issued instructions on the establishment of the data bank, to include students who have displayed unusual behavior, the homeless, the mentally ill and anti- social radicals. Taipei mayoral hopefuls Neil Peng and Wellington Koo, as well as various others, then appealed to the agency not to go ahead with the data bank. However, although it denied the establishment of the data bank, the agency said there is a need to keep tabs on people who have shown deviant or anti-social behavior, citing the example of the random killing spree by a college student on the Taipei metro that resulted in four deaths and left more than 20 people injured. The suspect has claimed that his only motive for the killings was to seek capital punishment, which underscores his violent and anti-social nature, the NPA said. Such a person is like a ticking time bomb, the NPA went on, which is why it has asked local police stations to pay attention to those who have shown deviant or anti-social behavior. This directive by no means represents the setting up of any kind of data bank to stigmatize any particular group of people, the NPA said. (By Lin Chang-shun and Lilian Wu)