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China's police criticised for listing frequently-caught beggars

Published on Aug 20, 2012 4:49 PM
A woman begs on the subway in Shanghai in July. -- PHOTO: CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

SHANGHAI (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A list ranking the beggars most frequently caught on Shanghai's metro trains since 2008 has caused controversy, with many people saying there should be greater sympathy toward this disadvantaged group.

The list was recently published online by the Xujiahui police station of Shanghai public security bureau urban rail and bus corps.

Topping the list is a 22-year-old illiterate man from Liaoning province who lives near the train station, has broken legs and a record of being caught begging on metro trains by police 309 times. Ranking second is an 88-year-old woman from Anhui province who has been caught 303 times. Police said she would beg whenever she lost money from "her mahjong gambling party".

The release of the list coincides with the launch of a campaign by the Xujiahui police station called "Say No to Beggars On the Metro". The campaign encourages metro riders to send an instant text or voice message through Weixin, a popular social networking application on mobile phones, if they spot a beggar on the train between 10am to 2pm and 6pm to 10pm. These are the peak hours for beggars to "work" on the metro.

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