Vol­un­teers help fel­low ex­pats stay within law

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By ZHOU WENTING in Shang­hai zhouwent­ing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Ten long­time for­eign res­i­dents in Shang­hai’s Chengji­aqiao area, where ex­pa­tri­ates ac­count for 30 per­cent of the to­tal res­i­dents, work with po­lice as vol­un­teers to spread aware­ness of Chi­nese laws and rules among for­eign­ers, es­pe­cially new­com­ers.

Th­ese ex­pat vol­un­teers, in­clud­ing busi­ness­peo­ple, artists and stu­dents from such coun­tries as the Nether­lands, Ar­gentina, Italy and France, will as­sist po­lice in in­form­ing other ex­pats to reg­is­ter with lo­cal po­lice sta­tions within 24 hours of ar­rival.

They also will help watch for vi­o­la­tors of traf­fic rules, pa­trol com­mu­ni­ties to spot safety threats and warn ex­pats about fall­ing prey to such crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity as telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion fraud, ac­cord­ing to po­lice from Changn­ing dis­trict, where Chengji­aqiao is lo­cated.

More than 170,000 for­eign­ers now in Shang­hai have lived and worked there for more than half a year, ac­cord­ing to the mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s po­lice.

Lin Yi, a po­lice of­fi­cer in Chengji­aqiao, the 8-square-km area ad­ja­cent to Hongqiao In­ter­na­tional Air­port, said one of the ma­jor prob­lems in their work is that many for­eign­ers tend to view Chi­nese laws based on their own mind­set.

For ex­am­ple, Lin said, some for­eign res­i­dents in the villa neigh­bor­hood pitch tents on the pub­lic lawn, which is

We need the vol­un­teers to work as the in­ter­me­di­ary be­tween the for­eign­ers and us.” Lin Yi, po­lice of­fi­cer in Chengji­aqiao

al­lowed only within the fences of their house.

“So we need the vol­un­teers to work as the in­ter­me­di­ary be­tween the for­eign­ers and us,” Lin said.

Dur­ing an in­tern­ship be­fore be­com­ing a vol­un­teer, Habib Jan, 26, of Pak­istan helped traf­fic po­lice di­rect non­mo­tor­ized ve­hi­cles at an in­ter­sec­tion in July.

“Some rid­ers of elec­tric bikes don’t know Shang­hai re­quires all such ve­hi­cles to have a li­cense plate, and some non­mo­tor­ized ve­hi­cle rid­ers go in the wrong di­rec­tion. So I stop them and work as trans­la­tor for the po­lice of­fi­cer,” said Jan, who has been in Shang­hai for seven years and is flu­ent in English, Man­darin and the Shang­hai di­alect.

Jan also helps po­lice with security manage­ment in Shang­hai Hongqiao In­ter­na­tional Pearl City, where he owns a shop that sells hand­made car­pets.

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