An "unusual" surge in crimes in Ho Chi Minh City has prompted the government to send 600 officers of the central Mobile Police Force to the southern metro.
Nguyen Thanh Banh, deputy commander of the mobile force of the Ministry of Public Security, said the officers have been on duty in the city starting Tuesday night.
"Crimes have increased unusually in the city and its police chief has asked the command to help beef up forces around its border areas," Banh told Thanh Nien.
He said the city police have asked for help monitoring parts of the National Highway 1A and National Highway 1K that links the city respectively to the Mekong Delta and the industrial provinces of Dong Nai and Binh Duong.
Other roads that need security upgrades are in the outlying districts of Hoc Mon, District 12, Binh Chanh and Thu Duc, which includes the Vietnam National University complex, Banh said.
The mobile officers have also been asked to be on crime alert in Di An, the capital town of Binh Duong; as well as Bien Hoa in Dong Nai, Banh said.
Banh said the extra force will be equipped with guns, clubs, electric whips, armors, handcuffs and flashlights.
The force includes 550 officers from other southern provinces and 50 already stationed in the city. They will be divided into groups of ten to take turns on overnight patrols every four hours patrol overnight.
They will patrol designated roads through the Lunar New Year, the country's biggest holiday that peaks February 10 and is usually a crime-prone period.
He said members of the force will not punish traffic violations.
The main targets are robbery suspects, street fighters, especially those are armed. They will transfer detainees to local police for follow up action.
The city police had early December launched a massive crackdown on crime for the New Year season, enlisting assistance from nearby provinces.
After a month or so, 97 robbers and 67 thieves were arrested. Eight guns, five teargas sprayers, an electric stun gun and dozens of knives were seized.
The city police have reported that around 5,000 crimes were busted in 2012, and as many people arrested, down 7 percent from the previous year.
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