Vol­un­teers as­sist in Bei­jing’s safety

China Daily - - CHINA - By CAO YIN caoyin@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Bei­jing res­i­dents are play­ing an in­creas­ingly im­por­tant role in help­ing po­lice keep the city safe, ac­cord­ing to the cap­i­tal’s se­cu­rity author­i­ties.

Over the past 10 years, vol­un­teers have pro­vided vi­tal tips that have pre­vented crimes and main­tained pub­lic or­der, the city gov­ern­ment’s Po­lit­i­cal and Le­gal Af­fairs Com­mis­sion said.

By the end of last year, 850,000 res­i­dents had reg­is­tered with the com­mis­sion as “safety vol­un­teers”, with the ac­tual num­ber closer to about 1.4 mil­lion, the au­thor­ity said in a state­ment.

“The force from res­i­dents, es­pe­cially the safety vol­un­teers, tak­ing part in the city’s safety gov­er­nance has be­come stronger,” it said.

In an in­ter­view with Bei­jing News, Xu Ji­hui, deputy di­rec­tor of the com­mis­sion, said more res­i­dents, in­clud­ing the young gen­er­a­tion savvy with tech­nol­ogy, have joined the team to keep the city safe.

“As more res­i­dents be­come safety vol­un­teers, how to man­age this group of peo­ple has been a hot topic the com­mis­sion is study­ing,” he said.

“What we want is to let the vol­un­teers find more prob­lems or sus­pi­cious be­hav­iors, in­stead of solv­ing them di­rectly. We ask them to re­port to po­lice in a timely man­ner, and not to fight crimes alone.”

The com­mis­sion has im­proved the reg­is­tra­tion of vol­un­teers and made files for them, “hop­ing to bet­ter rule them in a pro­fes­sional way”, Xu added.

The most well-known group of vol­un­teers is in Chaoyang district. As of De­cem­ber, they num­bered 140,000, sup­ply­ing nearly 20,000 tips to po­lice each month, most among which were e-bi­cy­cle thefts and pick­pock­ets, ac­cord­ing to the district’s pub­lic se­cu­rity depart­ment.

More than 8,300 pieces of in­for­ma­tion were valu­able, the de­part­ments said, adding that based on the in­for­ma­tion they solved more than 370 cases, de­tained more than 250 sus­pects and de­fused more than 390 po­ten­tial dan­ger­ous sit­u­a­tions.

A woman sur­named Wang, 71, is one of the district’s safety vol­un­teers who helped crack a case. Af­ter notic­ing a young man who moved into her com­mu­nity alone but of­ten or­dered seven or eight sets of take­out food, she re­ported to the po­lice in May.

Af­ter a pre­lim­i­nary in­ves­ti­ga­tion, the man was found to be a mem­ber of gang that al­legedly or­ga­nized pros­ti­tu­tion in the rented apart­ment, the po­lice said.

The sus­pect, with an­other two, were crim­i­nally de­tained, while an­other 12 peo­ple were given ad­min­is­tra­tive de­ten­tion, it added.

Po­lice in Haid­ian district also ar­rested nine peo­ple sus­pected of drug pur­chases and seized 23.2 grams of drugs on Jan 10 af­ter re­ceiv­ing res­i­dents’ clues, ac­cord­ing to the au­thor­ity.

Ruan Chuan­sheng, a crim­i­nal law pro­fes­sor at Shang­hai Ad­min­is­tra­tion In­sti­tute, said en­cour­ag­ing res­i­dents to jointly keep a city safe is nec­es­sary to ex­tend across the coun­try, “as it can as­sist po­lice in find­ing clues and is also the im­ple­men­ta­tion of rule of law through joint ef­forts”.

But he noted the in­ad­e­quate num­ber of po­lice of­fi­cers — an is­sue that the pub­lic of­ten talks about and is con­firmed by the author­i­ties — can­not be solved by the in­creas­ing num­ber of safety vol­un­teers.

The short­age should be solved with a more rea­son­able and sci­en­tific per­son­nel ar­range­ment, as po­lice with their pro­fes­sional in­ves­ti­ga­tion skills can­not be re­placed by oth­ers, he added.

ZHUANG WENBIN / FOR CHINA DAILY

For­eign stu­dents learn to make dumplings, which many con­sider a must-have for Spring Fes­ti­val, in Yangzhou, Jiangsu prov­ince, on Mon­day. The stu­dents, from the med­i­cal school of Yangzhou Uni­ver­sity, were in­vited to Shurenyuan com­mu­nity to ex­pe­ri­ence tra­di­tional cul­ture.

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