|Residential security guards on bike patrol in Thanh Xuân District, Hà Nội. - Photo kinhtedothi.vn|
HÀ NỘI – It was at around 7am that Phạm Xuân Thủy was riding a bicycle around Khương Mai ward in Hà Nội’s Thanh Xuân District. The 64-year-old man was not on a bike tour but on duty to protect social order and security in the area.
He is a member of the residential security guard forces of Thanh Xuân District tasked with stopping or reporting a range of violations - from littering to drug use and smuggling. They are entrusted with keeping close watch over every corner of the district. He and his fellow guards have become a familiar sight in the district.
Each group usually consists of six guardians and one policeman and is in charge of protecting social order and security in one ward in the district, focusing on high-risk areas or areas with high rates of crimes, drug users and smugglers.
They patrol on shifts, in the morning, afternoon, evening or even at night, depending on the situation in each ward.
“Apart from discovering violators, we also disseminate information to raise public awareness of regulations and laws,” Thủy said.
The bike patrol model was officially piloted by the district’s authorities one year ago. The authorities provided 66 bicycles for residential security guards in 11 wards in the district.
Most of the guards are retirees, and the patrols encourage them to get out and be active and useful. Vũ Minh Phương, head of the district’s police, said the initiative is considered the most appropriate model for them.
Patrolling on foot would affect their health and make it hard for them to catch violators. it would also limit the area of their patrols. Since patrolling on motorbikes or cars it create noise and dust, particularly at night, bicycles were deemed the optimal solution.
Thủy added an additional consderation. “It is more convenient to go on patrol by bike because it does not cause noise, making it easier to keep watch over suspects and gain access to small alleys and streets,” he said.
Over the past year, hundreds of violations of social order and security were recorded by the guardians, including encroachment on pavements and robberies.
The model has also received a warm welcome from local residents who are now willing to co-operate with local police and residential security guards in keeping social order and security.
Nguyễn Thu Hoài, a resident of Thanh Xuân Bắc District, said residential security guards on bicycles create a friendly image. “We now feel more secure thanks to their patrol activities,” she said.
“Many people are now willing to co-operate with the security guard forces in keeping social order and security in the area, such as the prevention of littering on the streets or pavements and illegal parking,” she added.
Deputy Head of Thanh Xuân District’s Police Nguyễn Quốc Dũng said the patrols yield practical results in preventing and fighting against social evils and crimes.
Together with this model, the installation of security camera systems starting last April helped discover nearly 500 violations, including drug use and smuggling, traffic law violations and environmental protection violations.
Crimes and social evils in hot spots dropped significantly as a result, he said.
The district will mobilise all local residents for the mission of protecting social order and security this year, focusing on increasing the number of residential security guardians and investing in essential equipment and facilities to help improve their operational efficiency, according to the Chairman of the district’s People’s Committee, Nguyễn Xuân Lưu.
Information dissemination would also be strengthened to raise public awareness of abiding by regulations and laws, he said. - VNS