Guangzhou plans more beat officers, surveillance cameras on major roads and in communities in the battle against crime Guangzhou will expand its police force and install surveillance cameras in public places as part of measures over the next five years to control the crime rate, Mayor Zhang Guangning said yesterday. On the sidelines of the Guangdong People's Congress meeting, Mr Zhang said the security situation had improved, but not to the satisfaction of residents. 'There is a problem, but it's not incurable,' he said. 'Security is better than before and improving by the year, but many people are coming here to do business and to work. Thieves come, too. 'We've made a lot of effort but it's not satisfactory to residents. In future, we will strengthen the police force. 'It's not a matter of more patrol cars but of police officers visible on the streets.' Mr Zhang said the 11th Five-Year Plan would provide for an additional 500 special police and 1,000 plain-clothes officers, apart from an increase in the number of beat officers. He said the provincial government wanted Guangzhou to install surveillance cameras on major roads and in communities within three years, but the municipal government wanted to do it in two years. Guangzhou was also looking for a legal basis to prosecute petty thieves and jail them. 'Right now, if you catch someone who snatches a necklace you have to let him go,' Mr Zhang said. 'But if you jail 1,000 petty thieves, there will be 10,000 fewer thefts. So we are looking for a legal basis to do this.' He also said the Pearl River would be clean enough to swim in this summer. Guangzhou party secretary Lin Shusen said recently that a Pearl River swim would be organised for the middle of this year. 'Swimming this summer is not a problem, but we don't want to swim for one day,' Mr Zhang said. 'But if you want us to meet the standard of being able to swim every day, it takes not just Guangzhou's efforts but everyone else's.' Guangzhou spent 9.5 billion yuan last year on cleaning up the river and its canals, and has earmarked a further 18 billion yuan for the cleanup and beautification of the river's banks. Provincial authorities also plan to draw water from the North River and build a reservoir on Baiyun Mountain to store it so that the water can be used to flush out dirty water in the Pearl River and the city's 231 canals, which run for a total of 913km. By the end of this year, all wastewater from eight urban districts will be prevented from draining into the river and 95 per cent of the city is expected to be covered by the scheme by 2010.