Shanghaiist — who enjoys a stroll along the city’s famous waterfront — feels a slight sense of relief when reading this piece of news (in Chinese). The City Inspecting Team (城管) of Huangpu District has announced that since late January they’ve spent 15 hours a day patrolling the Bund in an attempt to reduce the activities of beggars and shoe polishers. (Anyone notice that the number of beggars seems to have decreased recently?)
According to Gu Xiaoxin, the team leader, there are about 10 shoe polishers and 20 beggars who reside along the Bund, and who are particularly vigorous in their dealings with unsuspecting passersby, pulling at the arms of anyone who walks past to extract some money or charging a very high price for a shoe polish. “These people always play hide and seek with us: they hide in small lanes when we patrol the area, but once we leave, they come out and start bugging pedestrians again.” He also mentioned that a few beggars have been rounded up, but because they haven’t commited a crime, they’re quickly released.
The strategy of the Inspecting Team also includes dividing the west side of Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu into several sections and sending inspectors to patrol each area. The team also works with the management of office buildings along the Bund, and once a single street bug emerges, the team member is informed. We wonder when inspecting teams will be installed in some other “hot spots” in the city?