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Beijing to boost civil patrol force for 2008 Games

Written by: Staff
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BEIJING, May 12 (Reuters) Beijing will build a 50,000-strong civil patrol force by 2008 to bolster security ahead of the Olympic Games, a Chinese newspaper said today.

The force would comprise 70 per cent permanent residents, 20 percent retired soldiers and 10 per cent from Beijing's non-permanent resident population, the Beijing News reported.

Already 21,000-strong, the force would grow to 30,000 by the end of the year, the newspaper quoted police official Miao Lin as saying.

The government had already spent 200 million yuan building the force, the official added.

Patrol members were responsible for checking criminal activity, accident damage control, venue security, assisting in emergency situations and managing dangers within their jurisdiction, said Liu Yucheng, a Beijing Public Security Bureau official.

In addition to a fixed monthly salary of up to (87 dollar), members would receive accident and injury insurance, and bonuses for assisting in emergency situations and making arrests that led to criminal charges, Liu added.

Recruits would be drawn from Beijing's existing ''community security guards,'' retired soldiers and sacked workers, the newspaper said.

Beijing local councils employ thousands of community guards, largely made up of the retired and elderly.

However, that force did not meet the necessary security requirements for 2008 and would be relegated to watching housing estates while the new professional force took over their duties, Miao Lin said.

REUTERS AY RN1543

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