Guangzhou officials have vowed to step up patrols and increase the presence of security forces on the city's streets. In an interview published yesterday by local media, Guangzhou police chief Zhu Suisheng admitted that robberies remained a major public-security concern. Aside from stepping up patrols, measures would be taken to improve controls over rented accommodation that caters mainly to the city's transient population. Guangzhou party vice-secretary Zhang Guifang, who is also the party secretary of the politics and law commission, said that police work would this year focus on curbing violent crimes - including kidnappings and robberies - as well as organised crime and the illicit drug trade. 'We will raise the visibility of police, set up a crime alert system as quickly as possible, set up a pro-active police force and increase the rate of arrest at crime scenes,' he said. Mr Zhang said that the city's crime rate fell 3.8 per cent last year, while the number of theft and robberies dropped 4 per cent. Guangzhou has 27,000 regular police officers and 20,000 security officers under more than 1,000 civilian security organisations, he said. This gives the city a ratio of about 27 police officers to every 10,000 registered residents, compared to a ratio of 42 to 10,000 in Hong Kong. The ratio for Guangzhou is dragged down further if the city's transient population of about two million is also taken into account. Sun Yat-sen University law professor Yang Jianguang said more frequent patrols would help boost public confidence. He said that public security in Guangzhou was improving as the recruitment of graduates had raised the quality of the police force.