Police urged to boost use of micro blogs

Updated: 2011-09-27 07:38

By Cao Yin (China Daily)

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BEIJING - Police should use official micro blogs, or weibo, to share more details about their work and provide more services to the public, Huang Ming, deputy minister of public security, said on Monday.

Speaking at a national conference in Beijing on the functions of micro blogs, the minister urged security officials to use the platform to release useful information in a timely and transparent manner.

The number of official police weibo already exceeds 4,000, and almost 5,000 officers use the services to help in their work, Huang said.

Zhao Feng, a Beijing police officer in charge of maintaining the force's official account on Sina Weibo, China's largest micro blogging website, said the account has attracted more than 1.68 million followers since last August. He said at least 10 posts are uploaded to it every day.

"We often publish police officers' moving stories, developments in important cases and provide residents with tips, such as how to avoid telecom fraud," he said.

"The micro blog has become our main way to communicate with residents. We know their demands quickly and they can supervise our work directly," Zhao added.

One follower, Dun Jifeng, a 31-year-old university employee, said the information released on police micro blogs is helpful in his daily life, especially the traffic and security tips.

"I often keep an eye on thefts or robberies after reading the cases published on the police weibo and change driving routes when I see news about traffic jams," he said.

However, 29-year-old Lei Ting, who works for a foreign company, raised questions about the practice.

"What public security authorities should do is to publish information they must tell residents, about criminal or big cases, instead of superficial stuff," she said.

At the start of this year, a weibo campaign against human trafficking attracted more than 220,000 netizens and, according to Chen Shiqu, director of anti-trafficking operations for the Ministry of Public Security, helped save several poor and abducted children.

China Daily

(China Daily 09/27/2011 page4)