Security beefed up nationwide
Updated: 2014-05-08 07:47
By Cao Yin (China Daily)
Greater police visibility, rigorous inspections seen as way to relieve public anxiety
Experts said on Wednesday that residents' anxieties about terrorism can be reduced by strengthening security in crowded places, but the key is persistence.
Armed police patrols were enhanced nationwide after a violent incident on Tuesday, when six people were injured in a knife attack in Guangzhou Railway Station. It was the third attack targeting civilians at a railway station in just two months.
The Ministry of Public Security ordered extra patrols to begin on Tuesday night, with an increase in the number of officers and a requirement that security devices - video surveillance equipment, scanners and the like - be checked to ensure everything is in good working order.
Li Juan, a professor of public security and an anti-terrorism expert, said that such inspections and patrols must be regular and permanent features of public safety, not merely a short-term campaign, though the immediate guidance by high-level officials was good.
"Tougher security inspections in crowded regions, especially railway stations and airports, should be emphasized frequently to avoid some police officers' slacking off," said Li, who is also vice-president of Xinjiang Police College.
On Tuesday night, Public Security Minister Guo Shengkun inspected the railway station in Changsha, Hunan province, and ordered the police to tackle security work in a more structured way.
Vice-ministers Fu Zhenghua and Liu Yanping visited railway stations in Beijing and Shanghai in one night for inspections, asking police officers to boost their public-security awareness.
Fu said that when deadly force is required, the police should eliminate the threat with one shot. He urged officers to react fast and take the initiative in emergencies.
Liu urged officers in densely populated spaces, such as railway and subway stations, to enhance their inspections to provide a better firewall against terrorists.
Li, the anti-terrorism expert, said rigorous inspections can reduce the public's anxiety to some extent, but she added that security requires people in all walks of life to pay attention, not only the police.
Wang Hongjun, a researcher at the public order department of the People's Public Security University of China, agreed, saying the creation of a nationwide public security system is a comprehensive task and must be pushed forward for the long run.
"It means every department in the country should make efforts to improve security, with the police playing the main role," Wang said.
"Inspections led by armed, high-level officials is a good start to enhance the sense of security among residents, but every department's persistence is more important."
Rigorous inspection procedures were reviewed in Zhengzhou, Henan province, on Tuesday, according to Henan Business Daily, with about 100,000 police officers participating.
Officers showed up at about 300 sites across the city to check entities that deal with hazardous articles and to identify people who run Internet bars and inns in the city's rural areas.
On April 20, public security and traffic authorities in Shanghai issued a rule imposing heavier punishments on individuals who refuse security checks or who disturb public order.
The police in Shanghai have handled six such cases, detaining three people under the rule.
Wei Tian in Shanghai contributed to this story.