Security tighter ahead of Games

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 04 November, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 04 November, 2010, 12:00am

Guangzhou is stepping up security measures with the Asian Games, the most important international event in the city in the past six decades, just a week away.

From hotels and streets to alleyways in villages, over 830,000 Asian Games security volunteers and more than 7,000 auxiliary police are patrolling the city's 12 districts.

Tough restrictions have been put in place to ensure maximum security on Haixinsha Island, in the Pearl River, the centre stage for the Games' opening and closing ceremonies.

Residents living within a kilometre of the island have been told to leave their apartments between 6pm and 11pm on November 12, the night of the opening ceremony, and to gather in public plazas, roads or community centres if they want to see the celebration.

Local media reported that the elderly and disabled and women who have just given birth will be allowed to stay at home but will have to be accompanied by police officers or volunteers.

People living in Liede village were also told to leave their lights on after leaving their apartments that night to project a dazzling image for Guangzhou.

On the day of the opening ceremony, nearby Ersha Island will be closed to outsiders, with only the 5,000 islanders holding residency permits allowed to enter. The only petrol station on the island will also be closed during the Games.

Traffic controls have been put in place, with private vehicles allowed to run on alternate days according to the last digit of their number plates. Subways and public buses will be free until the end of the Games, leading to severe overcrowding at stations, made worse by stringent bag checks at station entrances.

Local media also reported that a notice posted in Dashi Street in the Panyu district said residents were banned from dialling the 110 emergency police helpline, and offenders would be fined 500 yuan (HK$579). According to the notice, also posted on the internet, residents were urged to call the direct line of the local police station but a Panyu district police spokesman denied any such restriction had been put in place.

Out in force

The number of security volunteers patrolling Guangzhou's 12 districts for the Asian Games: 830,00