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Wave of thefts prompt increased police patrols

Update: March, 17/2016 - 09:00

HCM City — Local policemen in wards, communes and towns play an important role in preventing thefts as they can work directly with local residents and are familiar with the local situation, Colonel Nguyễn Sỹ Quang, head of HCM City Police Department’s Advisory Bureau, was quoted as saying on a government website.

 “Local policemen in wards, communes and towns comprise the major force that can advise local authorities about solutions and plans to ensure social order and security,” he said.

Quang spoke at a recent conference held with police forces from 24 districts and 300 wards and communes in HCM City.

The newly appointed Party secretary Đinh La Thăng told the municipal police force that it must reduce the increasing number of thefts on the streets.

Traffic police, aerial squads and special police forces have been deployed to work closely with local policemen in patrolling, intercepting and seizing criminals.

They will also focus on people who ride motorbikes in the central business district of HCM City. Police also plan to send staff to patrol streets popular with tourists downtown.

Administrative inspections will be carried out in localities and businesses that often see crime and inappropriate social activity.

The deputy director of the municipal Police Department, Phan Anh Minh, said he was frustrated that motorbikes used by thieves could not be confiscated because parents said they were unaware that their sons had taken their vehicles.

He said that the IP addresses of electronic devices that have been stolen would be tracked by the Information and Communication Department.

“If this solution is implemented, thefts would decline as thieves would find it more difficult to sell,” Minh said. 

Another solution to increase social order and security is the establishment of a street camera system that will monitor crime.

“Most thieves are drug addicts, so we should increase management and supervision of drug addicts. In addition, fines for robberies must be increased,” lawyer Nguyễn Thành Công said.

Effect on tourism

At the conference, a representative of the municipal Culture, Sports and Tourism Department said that the department had received hundreds of formal letters from the Consulate General of Japan and Australia as well as the Taipei Economic and Culture Office in HCM City about thefts of citizens studying, working and touring the city.

“Each time when we get formal letters from the Consulates, we transfer these to the police force. However, many other tourists do not report the crimes,” Lã Quốc Khánh, deputy director of the department, was quoted as saying in the Người Lao Động (The Labourer) newspaper.

Representatives from tourism companies said tourists are reluctant to go to the police because of the language barrier and the amount of time needed to report the crime.

“If we do not take comprehensive solutions, no one will come to Việt Nam anymore,” Khánh added.

The tourism industry in HCM City and Việt Nam is fiercely competing with regional tourism spots, and police and citizens should take an active part in preventing robberies, he said.

Trần Văn Long, general director of the Du Lịch Việt company, said that many foreign tourists were afraid of food hygiene and street safety.

“The tourism industry’s environment has seriously declined but authorities haven’t done anything to improve the situation,” Long said. “We can say that Việt Nam is the least attractive destination in the South East Asia region.” — VNS

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