A massive sweep by police in Shenzhen during the countdown to National Day celebrations has netted about 30 Hong Kong residents among more than 800 people hauled off the streets and detained.
Besides going after criminals, the law-and-order action is seen as a test of the readiness of Shenzhen police for any emergency during the celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the People's Republic.
Almost 10,000 police officers were deployed, manning 360 roadblocks. The 15-hour action ended yesterday afternoon with 850 people detained and officers checking a haul of guns, knives, drugs and cell phones.
The operation started at 10.30pm on Monday and saw teams of police racing away from their stations with orders to have roadblocks in place within 30 minutes.
Indications are that all the roadblocks were ready on time.
Then came the checks - an operation that lasted until 2pm yesterday. In all, 7,442 vehicles were stopped and searched, and 1,606 of them impounded.
There were also 350 breaches of traffic regulations during the operation.
But police action during the Golden Week from October 1 to 8 will go well beyond roadblocks and checks on vehicles and their occupants.
Teams of officers are being readied for patrols across the city, with entertainment establishments their particular targets.
The huge operation will mean Shenzhen's entire police force is on duty or standby during the first two days of the holiday, and 15,000 officers will be deployed daily from O
ctober 3 to 8.
Many of the officers will reinforce regular patrols at rail and bus stations along with plazas and parks. And 24-hour video monitoring will be carried out at many sites.
Shenzhen's fire services department is also on high alert, with officers increasing random checks. Safety at entertainment venues is high on the list of priorities.
Shenzhen has just recently held a big anti-crime operation, and Hong Kong people figured prominently in that one. About 100 Hongkongers were detained for 15 days on suspicion of drug-taking after being arrested along with 300 mainlanders on July 4 during a sweep of bars and parlors. Some of those detained complained of inhumane conditions at Longgang detention center.
Several blamed Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen for their ordeal as only days before the operation he pledged to get tough on drug abusers.