Vietnam’s mobile police to be equipped with planes, boats: new law

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Vietnam’s mobile police to be equipped with planes, boats: new law

This image shows a mobile police unit deploying its force for a mission in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Giang Long / Tuoi Tre

Mobile police forces in Vietnam will be furnished with aircraft and ships, in addition to weapons and other equipment, according to a new law passed by the country’s legislature last week.

The lawmaking National Assembly approved the Law on Mobile Police at its third session on June 16 with over 91 percent of the votes from 474 delegates present.

The law, which has five chapters and 33 articles, will take effect from January 1, 2023 and replace the 2013 Ordinance on Mobile Police.

As per the new legislation, mobile police will be equipped not only with weapons, explosives, supporting tools, and vehicles as well as professional technical equipment, but also aircraft and boats to carry out their functions, tasks, and powers.

Accordingly, mobile force units will be allowed to use aircraft and boats designated for them to implement their law enforcement activities when necessary.

The government will issue detailed instructions to implement this regulation, the law says.

The law stipulates seven powers of mobile police, in which five are inherited from the Ordinance on Mobile Police and the other two are add-ons.

The first new power is to bring weapons, supporting tools, vehicles, and professional technical equipment to airports and get on civilian planes to carry out missions in the following cases: fighting terrorists and rescuing hostages; suppressing those who commit dangerous acts using weapons and explosives; protecting the transport of special goods; and escorting offenders of particularly serious crimes.

They will also be permitted to use aircraft designated by competent authorities for handling complex security and order problems.

The second new right is to prevent and disable unmanned aircraft and ultralight flying vehicles that violate no-fly or restricted-fly zones or attack or threaten to attack targets under the protection of mobile police.

Among the other rights is to use armed measures and other means to launch offensive missions to repress and prevent acts that resort to force to violate or threaten to violate the lives, health, and assets of individuals and organizations, according to the new law.

In urgent cases to protect national security, ensure social order and safety, or to prevent damaging consequences that are occurring or are at risk of occurring, mobile police units are entitled to mobilize civilian personnel, vehicles, and equipment for their missions.

Mobile police’s rights of entering the premises of offices, agencies, organizations, and individual residences shall comply with specific provisions of the law.

When entering the headquarters of diplomatic missions, foreign consular missions, the representative offices of international organizations, and the accommodation of members of these agencies in Vietnam, mobile police officers follow the provisions of international treaties to which Vietnam is a signatory, the law says.

The new legislation also stipulates mobile police forces’ duties, including carrying out patrols in areas with complicated security and order situations, executing action plans to free hostages kept by malefactors, and dispersing gatherings causing chaos or disturbances.

In addition, mobile police units are assigned to protect the security and safety for important political, economic, diplomatic, scientific, technical, and cultural targets, as well as major conferences and events, among other tasks.

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