July 04, 2014 12:58
Busan and Incheon are getting their own tourist police following a successful pilot project in Seoul, the National Police Agency announced it on Thursday.
The tourist police force consists of officers who can speak foreign languages such as Chinese, English and Japanese and handles crimes and nuisances directed at foreign visitors in tourist hot spots.
The 35-member team in Busan will patrol major tourist spots like Gwangalli , Haeundae, and Jagalchi Market, and the 24-member force in Incheon will focus on Chinatown, Incheon International Airport, and Songdo.
They will offer guidance to foreign tourists and attend to inconveniences they experience, maintain order, prevent crimes, and crack down on scams and rip-off operations.
More officers will patrol Busan in summer, when the beaches are open. The Incheon tourist police will run an information booth at the main stadium for the Asian Games from Sep. 19 to Oct. 4.
The tourist police was first launched in Seoul on Oct. 16, 2013. So far, officers have dealt with 22,403 illegal activities and complaints from tourists. They cracked down on 61 guesthouses that failed to meet safety regulations, 335 unregistered tourist guides, and 114 unregistered taxi businesses.
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