All residential communities in Shanghai now have at least one police officer working alongside community officials to keep residents safe.
Shanghai police said yesterday the number of the community police officers stands at 5,512, a 23.5 percent increase from a year ago.
Community police work with grass-roots governments of residential communities, known as residential committees or villagers' committees. Police serving in communities with large numbers of foreign residents are bilingual.
One in four officers at the city's 300 police stations now also work for residential communities where they are meant to spend at least five half-days a week helping to improve safety standards.
"Previously their duty was exclusively addressing crimes and offenses, but now they're engaged in more preventive measures to enhance community security such as sourcing parking space for the residents," said Dai Min, head of the Public Security Management Squad of Shanghai police.
Other community policing jobs include mediating in disputes, preventing group leasing, and cracking down on illegal taxis and unlawful constructions, as well as coordinating with multiple government administrations.
Dai said the "grass-roots effort" had paid off as the number of reported burglaries in private homes in the first three months this year was down 25 percent from the same period last year.
By the end of this year, all community police officers are scheduled to have an office of their own at the communities.