Do other countries have 'chengguan'?

Updated: 2014-04-22 16:23 ( bbs.chinadaily.com.cn)

Editor's note: China's chengguan, or urban management officers, have fallen under the spotlight lately over conflicts with street vendors. Do other countries have urban management officers? And if so, how do they treat their street vendors? Our forum readers offer their perspectives.

MisterPanda (France)

In France we do have the equivalent to urban management officers and they are called "city police." They are policemen and women, often young and on their first assignment.

Their job is to notice illegal activities and notify the national police should the person involved refuse to cease and desist. They also have the right to give fines to illegally parked cars.

They do not have the right to carry weapons (except for pepper spray and a police stick which they can only use if they are attacked). Their job is NOT to enforce the law, but to educate people and notify the national police (as well as handing out parking tickets). They are very well liked by the people because they are the friendly face of the police since their job is to educate and not to repress. You can also always ask them for directions if you are lost and they usually are very polite and sympathetic.

Do other countries have 'chengguan'?

A street vendor sells padlocks on the Pont des Arts Wednesday, April 9, 2014 in Paris. A recent fad among travellers of hitching padlocks on bridges and at tourist attractions worldwide to symbolically immortalize their amorous attraction has swept up this reputed City of Love more than most.

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