Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has urged Ho Chi Minh City to fiercely step up measures to deal with crime as the Lunar New Year approaches.

The Deputy PM made the order on December 8 at a conference to review the prevention and combat of crime in the southern city in 2013 and plans for the next period.

According to deputy chief of the Anti-Crime Police General Department under the Ministry of Public Security Major General Nguyen Phi Hung, emerging crimes in Ho Chi Minh City include economic crimes, smuggling, and those using high technology.

Particularly, violations in the fields of the environment and drug use are of deep concern, he added.

Reports from the municipal police reveal that 6,218 criminal cases occurred in the city in 2013, 290 cases more than the year before. In which, 133 people were killed, another 758 were injured and property damages cost almost 90 billion VND (4.23 million USD).

To address the increase of criminal cases, Deputy PM Phuc asked the municipal authority to intensify preventive measures, timely settle the contradictions in the community, while mobilising all citizens to participate in the combat against crime.

He requested the maintenance and better coordination between Ho Chi Minh City and neighbouring localities to ensure social security for people not only in the city but for the whole nation as well.

The Deputy PM also asked local police forces to prioritise improving traffic safety and help prevent the smuggling and trading of fake and poor quality products in the upcoming Lunar New Year.