HCM CITY (VNS)— Municipal authorities have set up 34 mobile police teams to patrol HCM City streets in an effort to fight a significant spurt in theft and robberies that has worried residents.
Speaking at a press briefing on Friday, Colonel Le Anh Tuan, chief of the HCM City Police Department's Administration Office, said the teams would comprise officers from crime, traffic and mobile police divisions.
They would patrol crime hot-spots round-the-clock, he said.
City police had previously launched two campaigns against street crimes on November 23 and December 12.
Tuan said: "The task forces have been established under instructions from leaders of the Ministry of Public Security, following the model of Task Force 141 set up by the Ha Noi Police."
"However, the model has been modified to match the situation in HCM City."
Tuan noted that there has been an increase in the number of young people carrying out thefts and robberies; and in many cases, drugs were consumed before the crimes were committed.
Under a decision signed by Major-general Nguyen Chi Thanh, Director of the HCM City Police Department, the mobile teams will include crime police in civilian clothes who will watch and provide information on suspects to traffic and mobile police for appropriate intervention.
The teams will be sent to hot-spots in downtown areas as well as remote suburban areas where thefts and robberies have increased of late.
Tuan said 5,001 crimes were recorded in HCM City in 2012, down 7 per cent compared with 2011. However, serious offenses account for over 20 per cent of this year's crimes, he added.
The number of thefts and robberies has decreased slightly but still represented over 71 per cent of crimes committed in 2012.
He said it is possible that there has been an increase in crimes committed by "underworld gangs" including illegal protection of entertainment facilities and debt collection.
In addition to measures to fight crime, management of pawn broker services will be tightened to better control entities that purchase and sell stolen assets, said Lt Colonel Vu Nhu Ha, deputy chief of HCM City Police's Administration Office.
He said the police will also suggest to city and district authorities measures to supervise drug addicts and post-rehabilitation addicts.
As of December 19, HCM City police had arrested 260 suspects in 305 crimes. Police solved 127 cases or 56 per cent of the 225 thefts and robberies committed in the city during this period, arrested 186 suspects and busted 46 underworld gangs. — VNS