Six leading members of a gang of robbers were handed death death sentences in Shenzhen yesterday. The city government recently pledged to strengthen its fight against rampant crime. The Shenzhen Intermediate People's Court handed down six death sentences, four suspended death sentences and three life sentences, Xinhua reported. The gang of 29 criminals had been convicted of repeated robberies and kidnappings, in 2002 and early last year. The gang leaders facing execution were identified as Liang Fuji, Wu Weilin, Liang Ben, Zeng Guanglin, Gong Yuzhen and He Zurong. The court said Liang was convicted of 13 robberies involving 1.38 million yuan and other stolen goods. It said He was linked to six robberies involving over 170,000 yuan. Those sentenced to death with a two-year suspension were Ding Weiyong, who was convicted of nine cases involving more than 190,000 yuan, Zhang Chao, Liao Jiawen and Ma Zheng. Another 10 criminals were sentenced to five years in prison or longer terms, the report said, without mentioning the punishment the other six received. It did not give details of the robbery cases. Last month, Shenzhen Mayor Li Hongzhong admitted the government had not done enough to curb crime and must take responsibility for the city's worsening security. He vowed to take immediate measures to tackle the 'very serious' security problem, including a 400-million-yuan plan this year to employ 3,000 more policemen. Official figures showed overall crime in Shenzhen soared last year, with cases leaping 57 per cent to more than 100,000, and kidnappings up 75 per cent. Hongkongers were believed to have been a main target of Shenzhen's criminals.