Police use app to solicit Chaoyang's online masses to nab lawbreakers

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/2/14 15:28:39

Police in Beijing's Chaoyang district confirmed Monday the release of a smartphone app for local super sleuths to report suspected illegal behavior, a move many netizens have welcomed. 

On the "Chaoyang masses" app, users can report information about suspected child trafficking, criminal suspects, missing persons notices, traffic violations, lost and found and "anything else," by uploading videos, pictures and text. 

The residents of Chaoyang gained the moniker of "Chaoyang masses" since they apparently revealed many cases of celebrities involved in drug taking and prostitution to police. Netizens jokingly refer to them as a "world ace intelligence organization." 

Celebrities caught by the "Chaoyang masses" include  Jaycee Chan, Jackie Chan's son, who was detained in August 2014 over drugs, and Mao Ning, a 47-year-old singer who was detained for drug-taking in November, 2015.

Police also post news about  cases and ask for help, such as in seeking 9-year-old girl Wang Na who went missing on Sunday from her neighborhood in Beijing's Fengtai district. 

Many Net users have hailed the app as a great idea.

"Speaking of Chaoyang, I only admire the masses," a Net user on Sino Weibo posted after reading the news. Another user named "talang" said he feels very proud to be a spy. "It will be a disaster for criminals," Net user "bingkele" posted.

"Public tip-offs are an important way for police to get information, and being able to report illegal behavior through the app will increase public awareness of their responsibilities," Chen Tianben, an associate professor at the Chinese People's Public Security University, told the Global Times.

However, the police workload will mount up quickly as they work to verify the content, although delegation among departments can help, Chen said.

If people misuse the app by reporting on others for reasons of revenge and the uploaded content is found to be fake, those tattletales will have to take responsibility in accordance with the Penalties for Administration of Public Security and Criminal Law, Chen noted.

The app, which went online on August 20, 2016, is free to download in the Apple Store.

Posted in: SOCIETY

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