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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Cameras and patrols to guard city's safety

By Xu Wei and Ma Wei  (China Daily)

11:38, December 18, 2011

CHONGQING - A video surveillance network with more than 500,000 video cameras citywide has been set up to further improve police response to emergencies, a local official said.

Chongqing has devoted 27 billion yuan ($4.2 billion) to the surveillance network, and 100,000 more video cameras will be installed by the end of next year, said Yuan Qinhua, a senior official with the Chongqing politics and law commission, at a news conference on Thursday.

The video surveillance network, a major part of an emergency response system, covers communities, roads and streets and other public spaces for anti-crime, anti-terrorism and traffic regulation.

The network is the largest video surveillance and emergency reaction system in the nation, according to the authority.

Yuan said the city now has 500 police patrol platforms - 7- to 8-meter-tall platforms - across the city and 14,000 police officers to man them.

The platforms were invented by the Chongqing police, and the Ministry of Public Security is planning to promote them in other provinces.

According to Yuan, crime rates at schools have been reduced by 60 percent compared with last year, thanks to the large police presence on the 11,000 campuses in the city. Six thousand campus police and 68,000 safety guards watch over the campuses.

Yuan concluded that the municipality's effort to build a "Safe Chongqing", begun in 2009, has paid off and residents are feeling more safe.

Even so, according to research, theft, fire and traffic accidents still top residents' concerns.

For some residents, the wide distribution of police patrol platforms has been a major factor in their increased sense of safety. Mo Shufang, 72, lives in the Shibadi area, an urban village. She said that in the past, residents dared not go out after 11 pm because of the crime.

"You had to be on the alert for pick-pocketing and robbery all the time. There were even cases of traffic police being attacked," Mo said. Now with the closest police patrol platform only hundreds of meters away, she said, going out after 11 pm is no longer a problem and crime has fallen considerably.

Peng Meiying, 60, a resident of the Shapingba district, would previously never allow her granddaughter to go to school alone, even though it is only a 30 minute bus ride.

But with the police patrol platform visible everywhere, Peng said that she now would permit it if she was too busy to escort the girl.

Ji Jin in Chongqing contributed to this story.

 
 
 
 
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