The Public Security Ministry provides unified leadership and guidance to all public security work and directs professional and armed police forces. Ministry departments are responsible for investigating criminal cases, internal security, and public order administration. Established in 1986, the Research Institute of Public Security is charged with studying new problems caused by recent reforms. Local public security organizations are part of local government but function under national direction. China has about 600,000 professional police officers, and efforts have been made to enhance the political and cultural quality of police forces through education. General functions of public security organs are to perform public order administration, prevent crimes against the socialist system, prevent criminal activities that endanger public order, protect public and personal property, maintain public order, and ensure the smooth progress of socialist modernization. Public security organs have been highly effective over the years, as reflected in an average clearance rate of 77 percent for ordinary cases and 88 percent for major cases. Public security organs use public security committees to include the general public in their work; the committees play an important role in strengthening social order and reducing crime. Security companies have been formed in response to recent economic reforms and play an important role in preventing business-related crimes. Overall, a broad and comprehensive program of public security administration is the basis for China's approach to reducing crime and improving social order.