This time last year, Beijing was recovering from some of the worst floods in its history. This year, the skies have been dry, but instead we have had two serious stabbing incidents, explosions at the airport and a bakery, and a fire at major retail center. Nerves are a little frayed in the capital.
Fear not, or not too much, said Officer Sun from the Jianwai Police Station, who offered tips for addressing public safety incidents in a telephone interview.
Officer Sun suggested avoiding large crowds. "Try not to go to places that are too crowded. If you happen to be in a crowded place, pay attention to the environment, especially people’s facial expressions. Try to go out in groups of at least two or more."
If a violent incident or accident occurs, "Don’t stand around and watch, get to safety first. If there is an incident such a robbery or a violent act, do not try to catch or fight with the perpetrator. Your personal safety must take first priority," Officer Sun said.
"Call 110 when you are in trouble, and there will be English-speaking operators who can understand you and your case will be forwarded to foreign affairs officers, they all speak English," he said. Foreign residents of Beijing should also "be sure to save a couple of your Chinese co-workers’ or friends’ telephone numbers in your phone, you will probably need their help when something goes wrong."
While the recent incidents were serious, Officer Sun said that they are out of the ordinary. "The cases that happened in the past few days are just odd incidents, we hope residents do not panic because of these rare cases."
He advised common sense and maintaining a sense of awareness. "If you drive, make sure to lock the doors when you get in; when you are opening the car door, make sure you are not followed and that there are no suspicious individuals near you."
Lastly, "Watch your wallets and your iPhones," Officer Sun offered as a final bit of advice.
This article first appeared in the beijinger.
Photo courtesy the beijinger