Tangshan in North China"s Hebei province provided channels for the public on Monday to report criminal acts they have encountered, in an effort to crack down on crimes and guarantee citizens will get justice.
The move is a part of a sweeping campaign to improve public order launched after several women were assaulted on Friday by a group of men at a restaurant, which provoked public outrage across the nation.
"The case was extremely abominable. It has blackened this heroic city," an official in Tangshan said on Sunday at a conference to launch the campaign, adding that keen attention from the public is a strong incentive for the city to take action.
Tangshan is popularly hailed as a heroic city after its recovery from the 7.8-magnitude earthquake in 1976 that devastated the area.
"The campaign will be carried out in a deep-going way, to create a harmonious and peaceful social environment for all residents in the city," a city official said.
Starting on Sunday, the citywide campaign will last for half a month.
During that time, the public can report criminal behavior, including fighting, gambling, covering up of crimes and any conduct that seriously affects people"s sense of security, said a notice by an office handling the campaign.
It said those who report crimes can visit the city"s reception office, call, send an e-mail or mail to the authorities. All the reporting channels contain specific addresses and phone numbers.
Reports with real names are encouraged, but anonymous reports are also welcome.
Before the campaign, two video reports had already caught the attention of authorities and sparked action over the weekend.
Police arrested four suspects after a woman identified as Zhang said she and her colleagues were beaten by a gang at a bar in Lubei district, according to the public security bureau of Luanzhou, which is in charge of investigating the case.
Two suspects were detained by police after another report in which a man, surnamed Meng, said he was a victim of extortion, threats and assault and his cake shop was ransacked, according to the Fengnan district branch of the Tangshan public security bureau, which is investigating the case.
There has been a strong call from the public to severely punish the people involved.
"It"s very distressing and infuriating. The thugs must be sentenced severely according to the law so that the arrogance of group crimes can be eliminated," Hu Xijin, the former editor-in-chief of Global Times, wrote on Weibo on Monday.