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Police Cracking Down on Beijing Subway Perverts

Being a woman in Beijing can be a downright hostile experience, especially considering the crowded Beijing Metro and its reputation for unwanted touching and molestation. And yet, taking the subway may get a little safer for women now that local police are specifically targeting "subway perverts" and making arrests.

Plainsclothes police arrested a man right in the middle of a crowded Batong Line subway car during rush hour last Friday morning.  

China Youth Daily ( reported the police are from the local detachment of the Sihui transportation police, and had caught the man in the act of molesting a female subway passenger on the train near Gaobeidian Station, just a few stops away from Guomao.

According to Weibo user "明日潘多拉" who was present at the scene, the man had unzipped his pants and was accosting the victim when someone suddenly shouted, "Stop! I am the police!" after which two men in civilian clothes confronted the man.

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Pixelated photos taken at the scene show a man being subdued by two other men, his arms pressed behind his back.

The eyewitness also said police officers were overheard telling the suspect that they had been investigating him for days before he was captured. Arrested is a 32 year-old man named Zhang from Handan, Hebei.

The heat and the crowded interiors of the Beijing Metro have made summer a peak season for cases of unwanted touching and sexual molestation, and it's a big problem. A Chinese survey had previously indicated 33 percent of women 16-25 years old reported some kind of sexual harassment.

Many cases go unreported due to the social stigma attached to being a victim, but there are still many publicized cases in which the accused are often brazen and shameless about their crimes. A man caught molesting a woman on the Beijing Metro in May defended himself by saying, "I'll touch whomever I want."

Instances of unwanted touching and molestation are not few, even when considering arrests made by police in the month of May alone.

The arrest of famous economist Zhong Dajun captured the most attention after he assaulted a female Beijing subway passenger who said Zhong had inappropriately touched her. Then there was the young man who was arrested at Wangjing Station after he was accused of groping a woman's buttocks on the station escalator. And then there was the time a subway molester just happened to be apprehended by Liu Jianbo, the assistant to the prosecutor of the economic crimes department of the Beijing Procuratorate.

Friday's arrest by undercover police signifies a rare instance of authorities taking proactive action towards the problem of "subway perverts". It's not known if Beijing police will continue to go undercover and make these sort of arrests.

The city had previously proposed the idea of "women-only" subway cars back in 2015, but only Guangzhou and Shenzhen have followed through on the idea with less than ideal results (shown below):

Taiwan introduced women-only subway cars in 2006 but got rid of them just three months after they were implemented.

Images: QQ News, Weibo

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