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May 19, 2012

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Police watching for sex harassment on Metro

MORE undercover police agents are on patrol on the city's Metro system to protect female passengers from sexual harassment, which police said usually increases with warmer weather.

"We allow no leniency for such offenses. We are determined to nail down each harasser with our best efforts and send them for due legal punishment," Song Youguo, deputy director of Shanghai Metro police, said when asked about rising harassment claims lately reported by local media and on social-networking websites.

Police increased the number of plainclothes and uniformed officers on Metro trains and platforms a week ago Thursday, and ordered them to focus on areas where the most recent reports took place.

"The victims should not hesitate to shout to stop harassers and alert the police immediately," Song said. Police also suggested female passengers avoid dressing too scantily in public to better protect themselves.

Weibo has provided police a new source of information to crack down on subway harassment. Police said they use such posts every day to better allocate their forces. Adding plainclothes officers also will help fight theft on the Metro, police said.

In one recent case, a man accused of molesting a young woman on Metro Line 2 Wednesday evening was caught by his fellow passengers and then detained by police. Police said the man, still in police custody, has a history of mental illness.

In Beijing, meanwhile, a sexual harasser this week delayed subway traffic for a short time. A middle-aged man jumped down to the track to evade angry passengers who tried to beat him after they saw him harass a woman yesterday evening, news outlets in Beijing reported.

Witnesses said the man followed the woman onto a train and exposed his private parts to her. Several male passengers shoved him after finding out what he'd done. The man escaped and jumped onto the track when the door opened.

The 44-year-old man delayed Metro traffic for a couple of minutes and was later helped out by a Metro worker. He was detained by police, who said he admitted to the crime.


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