HCM City — HCM City police must crack down on gangs using deadly weapons and street robbery, Senior Lieutenant General To Lam, Member of the Politburo and Minister of Public Security said.
|HCM City police search a motorbike after midnight on Tran Huan Nghiep Street, District 1 during a campaign to curb crimes at spots notorious for crime in the city. — VNA/VNS Photo
Lam made the statement while reviewing the city police’s performance in 2016 on Wednesday.
Lieutenant General Le Dong Phong, director of HCM City Police Department said that during the past ten months, police discovered more than 2,840 criminal offences, deterred 1,906 gangs and arrested over 6,900 criminals.
Phong said most gangs in the city ran pawn services as fronts, but were also involved in loan sharking and illegal gambling.
The fight against drug crime has remained dangerous as criminals were ready to use deadly weapons to resist arrest.
Phong said city police made a list of local gangs and measures to fight them. Riot police forces were mobilized to patrol key areas to prevent and combat crime.
Sudden inspections on entertainment services such as bars, discotheques and pawn shops have been implemented, he added.
Speaking at the meeting, Senior Lieutenant General Lam stressed that the police should focus on protecting important political events, the activities of the leaders of the Party and State, and international delegations to the city.
Lam requested that the police consult steering governments to solve emerging security-related problems such as foreclosures and illegal debt collection.
MPs want tighter gun controls
National Assembly deputies have called for tighter gun controls in the country, citing the fatal shooting of Party officials in a northern province last August as a “wake-up call.”
However, several deputies said an isolated incident should not be the basis for drafting laws on who should be allowed to carry what kind of firearm.
Diverse views came to the fore as the parliamentary Committee on National Defense and Security held its second plenary session on Wednesday to review a draft law on management and use of weapons, explosives, and ancillary weapons.
“After the Yen Bai shooting incident, many parliamentarians have voiced their opinion of the need to limit the provision of firearms,” said Committee Chairman Vo Trong Viet.
The session discussed a report prepared by the Ministry of Public Security (MoPS). The ministry was directed by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to revise the draft law, based on the opinions of the NA Standing Committee.
According to the report, the draft law allows for the provision of military arms to three additional personnel categories – the Coast Guard, the Government Cipher Department and investigators under the Supreme People’s Procuracy.
Several deputies questioned the need to arm investigators, agreeing with the comments of committee member Nguyen Mai Bo.
Committee chairman Viet concurred with the deputies, saying the Yen Bai incident was a wakeup call, and tighter controls were needed over firearms. Investigations into this case should reveal whether it was a legal loophole or negligence that led to the incident, he said.
However, he cautioned against knee-jerk reactions.
“When the forest is destroyed by illegal loggers, people ask why we are not providing firearms to rangers. After the Yen Bai incident, people ask why we provide firearms for rangers.
“The regulations for the use of firearms or who is allowed to use firearms need to be based on sound reasoning, and objective requirements, not subjective sentiments, or isolated cases.”
Đo Ba Tỵ, NA Vice Chairman, also affirmed that the shooting provisions under Article 21 of the draft law can benefit from greater clarity to prevent abuses without hindering forces’ ability to fight crime.
Based on the opinions collected during Wednesday’s session, Tỵ asked the CNDS to work urgently with MoPS and the Ministry of National Defence to complete the evaluation report and submit it to the NA for consideration in the next meeting.