China / Society

Internet police turn to social media for information on cybercrimes

By Zhang Yan (China Daily) Updated: 2015-06-02 07:46

Police will strengthen their efforts to crack down on cybercrime - including fraud, gambling, online drug or gun-related crimes and pornography - by creating their own social media accounts, the Ministry of Public Security announced on Monday.

The ministry said police in 50 key areas nationwide, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, will open accounts on sites such as the micro-blog site Sina Weibo, the messaging site WeChat and the online community Baidu Post Bar.

Public security departments will use special police personnel to regularly monitor the Internet to detect online crimes and remove illegal and harmful materials.

In addition, police officers will publicize common cyber crimes and release warnings to prevent the public from being swindled and raise their awareness of prevention.

The new strategy is in response to public concerns about the recent increase in online crime, which has lowered people's sense of safety and threatened social stability, the ministry said.

Police officers will also try to motivate netizens to report more tips about illegal activity in an effort to get rid the Internet of criminal rings.

Internet police turn to social media for information on cybercrimes

"After introducing the measure, it will increase the visibility of the police presence online to 'create a harmonious, safe and healthy Internet'," said Dai Peng, director of the criminal investigation college under the People's Public Security University of China.

According to the Ministry of Public Security, national police have removed 758,000 pieces of harmful and illegal online content and investigated 70,000 cases involving cybercrime, since January.

The ministry said police officers will pay special attention to combating the most serious cybercrimes, including online drug sales and firearms trafficking, gambling and the solicitation of prostitutes. Lawbreakers will be prosecuted.

"The Internet police have come out to the front stage from behind the curtains, beginning regular open inspection and law enforcement efforts, raising the visibility of the police online, trying to increase a joint feeling of the public safety for the online community and satisfy the public," a ministry statement said.

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