Street hawkers, shoe shiners and security guards on the streets of Beijing are a new front line in the fight against terrorism, with the government offering them rewards of 2 yuan (US$0.32) for minor tip-offs on terrorism or violence.
But whistleblowers who help stop or expose a major terrorism case stand to gain at least 40,000 yuan, Beijing Youth Daily reported Friday.
The rewards are part of stepped-up efforts in the capital against terror attacks, measures that also include a monitoring network of nearly 100,000 community informants and volunteers, and street patrols by a further 850,000 volunteers.
Beijing police have also deployed 150 armed patrol cars on major streets. Each unit monitors no more than a three-kilometer stretch of road and must reach the site of any incident within three minutes.
Counterterrorism skills were put to the test Thursday morning when more than 90 vehicles and over 2,800 people from the city’s anti-terrorism office, Public Security Bureau and armed police corps took part in drills, the Beijing News reported Friday.
In the biggest exercise of its kind, officers practiced saving hostages and suppressing large-scale illegal gatherings. Sniper rifles and drones were also on show.
The efforts come after a series of deadly terrorist attacks, including a bomb in an open-air market in Urumqi, Xinjiang, which left 39 people dead on May 20.
Beijingers were also rattled on October 28 when a car bomb exploded in Tiananmen Square, killing five people and injuring 38.
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