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Monday, January 09, 2006

Fighting snatch thieves

A bit out of the usual but still newsworthy.

In China a citizen group called Forest has been formed to fight rising snatch thieve incidences. The members of the group met online first, in a chatroom and started to make an impact in cities. Following their success, other groups in other cities have been formed.

The persons involved are only part-timers in fighting crime. So what do they do?

Basically, they are checking out shopping malls and other public areas and either prevent snatch thieves from becomine active (they stare at them), or pouncing on snatch thieves when the robber wants to run away. The group operates in a way that two of them attempt to prevent the theft while others stand aside in case trouble looms.

It is not always easy.

In one case "they pounce on a thief trying to flee the mall after stealing a mobile phone from a woman's backpack, only to be threatened by three of the thief's knife-wielding partners in crime. The six safeguard members attack the assailants and wrestle the knives from their hands. "Please call [the police emergency number] 110 and fan out," Forest shouts to bystanders. Police arrive a few minutes later and Forest and his group wrap up the night at around 10.40pm after offering witness statements to the officers. "We fear being injured every time," says one member.

Something to learn about cooperation and teamwork?

(By Asia Business Consulting)