Offenses related to air pollution, and the subsequent fines, are expected to increase in China this year due to broadening efforts to protect the environment, according to an academic report released on Thursday.
In recent years, the top legislature has strengthened environmental laws, and polluters and governmental departments that fail in their supervisory roles face heavy financial penalties.
"This is why the number of related crimes being discovered may increase," a report by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences said.
The expected rise means more environmental or ecological problems will be exposed and resolved, "while it also shows the central leadership"s stronger inspections against polluters have worked", it added.
For example, environmental protection departments in Zhejiang province had fined 3,477 polluting enterprises by September, and 62 people were criminally detained for alleged pollution-related crimes, according to the report.
As the fight against polluters is being strengthened, China"s efforts to protect personal information and prevent telecom fraud will also be enhanced this year, the report said.
"Although we"ve issued judicial documents regarding telecom fraud and privacy protection, and elevated related campaigns to high-priority status, we can"t afford to let our guard down because the ways of committing such crimes change frequently," the CASS added.