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March 29, 2010

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Commuters worry about lax security

DESPITE strengthened security checks in the city's subway stations, commuters are still worried about loopholes in the system as the 2010 World Expo approaches.

Residents and Netizens have complained about a variety of deficiencies, most regarding luggage checks.

They said many passengers could easily skip the baggage check.

Police admitted that a security problem has emerged as many passengers pick up express deliveries near glass barriers inside stations in order to avoid the check.

Shanghai Daily reporter yesterday spotted two people doing just that at the Nanjing Road E. Metro station.

After a woman passed the security check, her male friend, who did not pass the turnstiles, waited near the glass barrier. He then hoisted a big bag over the glass barrier for the woman to take onto the train without the guard noticing. The man then passed the security check area, went through the turnstiles and rejoined the woman.

Zhan Chen, 22, an office worker, said she witnessed similar actions at the People's Square Metro station last Tuesday.

Zhan said she immediately reported the suspicious men to two young guards wearing dark purple uniforms, but they did nothing.

Zhan's concern about security guards inside Metro stations was shared by other members of the public.

Some commuters said they had seen security inspectors chatting cheerfully with one another while ignoring bags as they passed through the scanning machine.

Other passengers said when guards completed a shift change, the scanning machine was left unattended long enough to allow up to five people to slip by without a check.

Also, many college students said they were almost never asked for baggage checks at the Songjiang University Town station at weekends as passenger flow increased dramatically.

Some students feared the lax security would allow other people to enter the Metro with anything they wanted to carry.

Other problems also caught the attention of commuters, including the increased possibility of bag theft during rush hours, and the possibility of the scanning machine damaging expensive handbags.

Police said they couldn't say how many bag theft cases had occurred, but they would use baskets to protect items going through the machine.

They added that they were working on measures to improve the security checks.


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