Bag snatchers

    Ahh… I’m a little bit depressed today coz my parents are here and I can’t take them anywhere. Also my friend Jonny has just arrived for the travelling we’d planned before I broke my foot. Also tomorrow my other friend Jess and her friend Nana arrive instead of us going to Yunnan. :(

    The weather is in the high twenties, maybe into thirties, and tomorrow is National Day (1st October) - this country is hot!

    I think it should be known that Shantou’s a really safe place to live and hang around in except for if you have a bag. There’s a really big problem at the moment with bag snatchers on scooters - and they’re good, I know someone who got her bumbag snatched two nights ago (the third time she’s been snatched from!).

    Here you can walk around late at night, you don’t have to worry about abductions or murder or even face-to-face muggings with knives, not even burglarly. Women can walk around at night and have no worries, and there’s no significant problem with drunken violence. We don’t even have pickpockets. But we do have those bag snatchers on bikes and my word are there a lot at the moment. My friend is a policeman in this department and often calls after having just spent 30 hrs (with no sleep?!) catching a bag snatcher and processing the necessary documents and things.

    They come from outside Shantou and are either drug addicts or (mostly, I think) people with no job and no money. There’s no social security here. Local people are utterly unforgiving and think it paints a really bad image onto their city, which I suppose it does - but it’s really the only crime they have (aside from some gang activity in some clubs) - the only crime that affects the public. I just want people to be aware and know about it but also know that it’s literally the only criminal danger you have to beware of.

    Point: carry supermarket plastic bags or a rucksack on both shoulders!

    Maggie Ad