Profane warning signs at bus station leave police red-faced

PUBLISHED : Friday, 23 January, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 23 January, 2009, 12:00am

They may have got the message across, but red-faced Shenzhen police have ordered staff at a bus terminal to remove three official public warning signs littered with profanities, mainland media reported yesterday.

The billboards at the Baoan district terminal were meant to alert passengers about the dangers of illegal transport operators and con artists outside the terminal but were ordered to be removed after critics filed complaints with police about the indecent language.

The billboards showed four sentences of a conversation between a policeman and three travellers conned by unlicensed coach operators and fraudsters, and used profanities such as 'damn', 's***' and 'son of a bitch'.

One sentence from a passenger said: 'Damn! [I was] given a counterfeit banknote when I took an illegal coach outside the station. I'm mad.'

Another complaint from a passenger read: 'S***! I have been dumped by an unlicensed coach again. Where's their conscience?'

The third passenger said: 'What bad luck! I was duped out of another 500 yuan by an illegal coach today. Son of a bitch!'

In the end, the policeman ridicules the passengers, saying: 'You guys are silly fools. Why don't you take the licensed operators inside the station?' At the bottom is the number of a police hotline.

But nearby police stations claimed the billboards had been erected by the bus station, and staff were ordered to take them down.

Staff at the terminal said they did not intend to offend anyone and the foul language was used to stress people's anger about being deceived.

Some netizens praised the billboards and said they showed originality on the part of the staff, but others considered it vulgar to display bad language.