New task force to patrol Vietnam metro to prevent street robberies

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The Ho Chi Minh City Police Department has set up a taskforce to tackle the increasing crime rate, especially violent street robberies.

The new force will be comprised of police officers in three branches: crime, traffic and mobile police, VnExpress quoted colonel Le Anh Tuan, an agency spokesman, as saying.

This taskforce will patrol the streets round the clock, following the suspects and acting independently or coordinating with other police to fight crimes, he said.

Tuan said these officers are expected to prevent crimes by pulling over suspected drivers to check if they are carrying weapons.

This force is a replica of Hanoi's police taskforce 141 with modifications to meet the situation in HCMC and was established following an instruction by the Ministry of Public Security, he said.

"The police are determined to stop crime and maintain security," Tuan said.

On December 23, the HCMC Police Department announced plans to step up its efforts to fight street crimes specifically.

The city police are encouraging owners of pawn shops, gold shops and shops which sell vehicle accessories to inform them about suspicious people selling or mortgaging properties without clear origin.

From December 1-19, police have uncovered 188 crimes and arrested 260 suspects.

So far this year, police recorded more than 5,000 crimes, with an increase in serious infractions including armed robbery.

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In mid-December, deputy minister of Public Security Pham Quy Ngo said his ministry was considering mobilizing one or two mobile police regiments to the city to maintain security.

Among the recent crimes, the city police are investigating a murder and robbery case that took place on District 10's February 3 Street on December 21.

The crime happened at around 11 p.m. when Nguyen Xuan Huy, 31, was stabbed in the neck while driving his scooter.

Huy ran to his house, some 100 meters away, but collapsed before his wife and the neighbors took him to the hospital. They were not, however, able to save him.

His relatives said robbers took Huy's life in order to get his motorbike and cell phone.

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