800,000 recruited as informants in run-up to 60th anniversary

PUBLISHED : Friday, 21 August, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 21 August, 2009, 12:00am

Beijing police are mobilising 800,000 residents for a two-month crime-watch campaign in a bid to boost public security ahead of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic.

The China Police Daily said the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau on Wednesday had called on all officers to reinforce the security measures used for last year's Olympic Games in preparation for the anniversary on October 1.

The Beijing Times said that 35 police officers in the capital had taken part in a competition to determine who will mobilise the most residents.

The campaign would focus on settlements of migrant workers, old residential areas, borders between urban and rural areas, public service areas and places known to be centres of crime, it said.

Residents in sensitive spots had been encouraged to provide clues to police on daily patrols, while people who take part in the mobilisation are entitled to give marks to those 35 competitors.

As part of the competition, police officers in the capital so far have launched more than 32,000 mass meetings in street committee offices, transient population associations, rental-housing owners' clubs, shop-owner unions and entertainment spots to keep an eye out for any hints of violence and crime, the Beijing Times said.

The Beijing Daily said that effective from Wednesday, people in the capital buying flammable material would need to register their personal information, including identity card copies and contact numbers, in the next two months for the sake of record-keeping.

All petrol stations are banned from selling petrol in bulk to consumers who use plastic containers because it might support sparking and create a hazard, the daily said. Similar measures had been implemented during the Beijing Olympic Games, it said.

They also must conduct regular counter-terrorism drills during the two-month campaign, it added.

Minister of Public Security Meng Jianzhu on Monday called on police around the nation to prepare well for the security mission related to the 60th anniversary.

Mr Meng said in a video conference that officers on all levels should pay attention to all hostile forces as counterterrorism has the top priority in the security mission on National Day.

Xinhua quoted him emphasising the importance of preparation, saying 'attempts at violence and terrorism must be foiled before they are turned into real action'.