GUANGZHOU: About 400 special police and plainclothes officers have been dispatched to Guangzhou's Baiyun district in a bid to crack down on robbery, organized crime, burglary and prostitution in the area, a public security official said this week.
Currently, police mostly patrol the district's downtown areas, while there is less monitoring of side streets and lanes, a police officer from the Guangzhou municipal bureau of public security said on Monday.
With the extra officers, authorities will now be able to respond more quickly to crimes committed in the district, the officer, who declined to be named, said.
Sandwiched between downtown and the suburbs, Baiyun has traditionally been among the provincial capital's most crime-plagued areas.
It is home to more than 1 million residents, about 22 percent of the city's total, and last year, accounted for 23 percent of the city's robberies, the officer said.
Local resident Chen Jinghua said social order in Baiyun is worse than in other districts.
It is not unusual for residents and tourists in the district to be threatened by criminals, she said, adding she once had two mobile phones stolen in a month.
"We need more police to fight crime here," she said.
Since the start of a campaign in Baiyun early last month, police have detained 225 suspects from 22 gangs and dealt with 89 other cases.
The crackdown has contributed to a 35-percent year-on-year drop in crime in the first three months of this year.
On March 3, police confiscated a gun, two bullets, several knives and five bags of drugs found in a van on Sanyuanli Avenue during a nighttime raid.
Two muggers who had accumulated the haul were apprehended on Tongtai Road on March 20.
However, robbery remains a major problem in Baiyun, the officer said.
More crime-reduction campaigns could soon be launched in the area, he said.
He called on residents and tourists to report all criminal activity to the police.