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Police pledge to fight gangs in Guangzhou's townships and villages

Updated: 2015-04-15 17:09
By ZHENG CAIXIONG in Guangzhou (chinadaily.com.cn)

A senior police officer has pledged to fight violent gangs at a grassroots level in Guangdong province.

Zheng Dong, deputy director general of Guangdong provincial department of public security, said more concrete measures will be introduced to help crack down on local township and village gangs in the months ahead.

In recent years, illegal gangs have been using violence to monopolize markets and been involved in the illegal trade and possession of weapons, threatening social stability and people’s lives and property, Zheng told a press conference in this Guangdong provincial capital on Tuesday.

In addition to the crimes involving drugs and robbery, the gangs in the rural districts, counties, townships and villages have also been involved in running casinos, fraud, raising illegal funds, producing and selling counterfeits, and generally harming the interests of residents, Zheng said.

"Top priority will be given to fight these sinister and evil forces in the 24 counties and districts in 17 cities in the province, including Baiyun and Yuexiu districts in Guangzhou, Bao’an and Longgang districts in Shenzhen special economic zone and Nanhai district in Foshan, in the following months," he said.

Zheng said his department has established 13 special task forces to fight the crimes and ensure peace across the province.

Lin Weixiong, director of the Criminal Investigation Bureau under the Guangdong Provincial Department of Public Security, said the gangs that have become active in some areas have posed a serious threat to grass-root governments and organizations in the southern province of Guangdong which borders Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions.

Lin said more special campaigns will be launched to fight gangs in the county and township areas before the end of the year.

According to Lin, police have detained a total of 7,906 suspects involved in criminal gangs in a bust that took place across the province, which has the highest incidence of crimes in the Chinese mainland. Police have also detained another 6,424 suspects after cracking down on more than 14,700 robbery cases which represented about 70 percent of the province’s total criminal cases, Lin said.

Meanwhile, police across Guangdong seized more than 5.66 tons of different kinds of drugs and detained 5,385 suspects after cracking down on 4,664 drug and related cases while a total of 31,279 suspected gamblers were detained after 4,599 gambling cases were fought and investigated this year.

Peng Peng, a senior researcher with Guangzhou Academy of Social Science, also attributed vote-buying in village head elections to gangs, which are interested in the large profits available in selling and requisitioning lands in the townships and villages in recent years.

He urged relevant departments to expand supervision in the reelection of village heads and to recommend only honest, clean and capable candidates to prevent local gangsters from being elected through vote-buying.

"Meanwhile the rate of university graduate village heads and cadres should also be increased in the future," Peng told China Daily on Wednesday.

"In addition to transparency in village committee work, a legal deputy village head should also be appointed to ensure the village is ruled according to law," he said.

"And special officials from higher up should also be posted to townships and villages where gangs are active to help fight their crimes," he added.

Wang Zijia contributed to this story

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