China / Society

Bridge climbers face tougher enforcement

By CAO YIN ( Updated: 2014-04-18 19:54

The police in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, will seek criminal punishments for people who climb on local bridges to get attention, New Express Daily reported on Friday.

Since 2011, 97 Guangzhou residents climbed bridges; of those, about 70 percent were trying to arouse public attention, the newspaper said.

Luo Zhenhui, deputy director of the city's public security bureau, told the paper that rescues of the climbers wasted resources.

Because the stunts affect residents' daily lives and disturb public order, climbers should receive criminal punishments, the bureau said.

Climbing on or jumping from bridges creates traffic jams and invites copycats when rescues are broadcast by the media, Luo told the paper.

The bureau said it will increase its inspections around bridges and post obvious signs to warn residents against the practice.

On Feb 13, two Lianjiang men climbed a bridge intending to draw attention to a conflict with the government over a reservoir in their hometown. The men were detained and dealt with administratively, the paper said.

Ma Jianwen, professor at a police academy in the province, told the paper that it is necessary to use criminal law to suppress such acts.

"Sometimes the police had to spend a lot of money to rescue a resident who refused to solve his problems in normal ways," Ma told the paper.

In May 2009, the Guangzhou police spent about 1 million yuan ($160,600) to rescue a man from a bridge, the report said.

For a first-time offense, the police ought to warn and educate the offender, Ma said.

"But for people who disrupt public order by climbing on bridges more than five times, we should consider criminal punishment," Ma said.

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