People are still allowed to record or film traffic police activity, a police official clarified with Thanh Nien Tuesday, after a newly released regulation banning people from posing as reporters to film traffic police on duty sparked public outrage.
Some local news websites recently posted a document sent by the central Traffic Police Department, known as C67, to traffic police divisions in cities and provinces across the country last April.
C67 recommends that traffic cops be alert to those who threaten, insult or resist officers on duty, or those who film or photograph police activity without their consent.
"If [these people] are journalists, collect the information they get and report to higher authorities. If [these people] are imposters, seize them and report to authorities to have proper punishment," reads the memo.
Netizens said the regulation deters those trying to expose traffic police corruption, and at the same time makes it compulsory for reporters and journalists to ask for police permission before filming them.
Colonel Nguyen Ngoc Tuan, deputy chief of the Traffic Police Department, told Thanh Nien the document does not constitute a ban on people from filming traffic cops.
"It just aims to raise police awareness of imposters.
"Journalists are allowed to photograph officers as regulated by the Press Law.
"The people are totally free in record or film the officers on duty without having to ask for permission, as the officers are not doing anything private."
The Global Corruption Barometer 2013, a Transparency International study that polled 1,000 Vietnamese citizens, recently showed that the police was seen as the most corrupt 12 institutions included in the survey.