History of People's Public Security of Vietnam

Since its foundation in 1945, the Vietnam People's Public Security (PPS) has always received direct leadership, continuous training from the CPV and Uncle Ho, as well as great support from the people to become a prime force in protecting national security and maintaining social safety and order.
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The Vietnam Ministry of Public Security Leaders in a meeting (Photo source: CAND)

Precursors of the People’s Public Security Forces of Vietnam

Since its foundation and during its leadership of the Vietnamese revolution, the Communist Party of Vietnam headed by President Ho Chi Minh has always attached great importance to building, consolidating and developing revolutionary armed forces to suppress anti-revolutionary forces and crimes, to protect the Party, the State and the people.

During the revolutionary movement of 1930-1931 with its height of the Nghe-Tinh Soviet uprising, the first revolutionary armed force called the “Red Guard” was formed to protect the newly-established Soviet Government in Vietnam, the revolutionary masses and Party officials; to fight enemy operations to destroy revolutionary bases; to suppress and punish the reactionaries and Vietnamese traitors or village bullies; and to maintain security and order in the revolution-controlled villages and communes.

During the period of the national liberation mobilization in the period 1939-1945, the Party had a policy to develop self-defense activities in various ways and forms based on armed and quasi-armed groups, such as Food Safeguard Group, Anti-traitor Group, Safe Zone Protection Committee, Viet Minh Honor Group in Hanoi, “Steel” Self-Defense Group in South Center, and Ca Da Self-Defense Group in Tay Nguyen provinces...

On May 15, 1945, the Northern Region Party Committee established the Group “Anti-traitor”, then renamed the Group “Viet Minh Honor”, which was pided into various smaller teams operating in major cities. These teams were in charge of collecting intelligence about enemy situations, and eliminating enemy spies and Vietnamese people serving Japanese and French armies. These groups were the precursor of the Vietnam People’s Public Security Forces.

Inception of the People’s Public Security Forces of Vietnam organization

The August Revolution achieved success in Hanoi on August 19, 1945. The People’s Public Security of Vietnam organization was founded on the very day when the people overturned the oppressing apparatus of French colonism and Japanese racism, and established a revolutionary government of the people.

At first, the People’s Public Security Forces had no a united organization but three agencies with different names: Security Service Bureau, Scout Bureau and National Self-Defense Force, were established relatively in the three regions: North, Center and South. Neverthless, the three agencies took the same functions and missions: fighting counter-revolutionary and hostile organizations, maintaining social order and security, protecting the Party, the revolutionary government and the people. On February 21, 1946, President Ho Chi Minh signed Decree No. 23/SL to unify the three forces into “Vietnam People’s Police Department” (with its main functions of policing the society and maintaining social security and order) under the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and appointed Mr.Le Gian as the Director of the PPS Department of Vietnam. On April 18, 1946, the Ministry of Internal Affairs issued Decree No. 121-NgĐ on the organization of the Vietnam Police Department, stipulating the organizational structure of the police force at three levels, namely Vietnam Police, Regional Police and Provincial Police.

Public Security Forces in the national resistance war against French colonialists (1946-1954)

After its establishment, the Vietnam Public Security forces immediately engaged ina life-and-death fight against foreign enemies and domestic reactionaries. The Vietnam People’s Public Security Forces (VPPSF) lauched attacks on counter-revolutionary and reactionary organizations, controlled crimes and directly protect the newly established revolutionary governments in the three regions of Vietnam. The outstanding victory of the VPPSF was the case at No.7 On Nhu Hau street, in which they detected, cracked down on and brought to light an insidious plot of reactionary nationalists, who in collaboration with the French colonists planned to overthrow the young revolutionary government on July 14, 1946.

The force continued to gain more and more victories on the silent battlefield during the national resistance war against the French colonialists. A good example is the victory of the A13 Intelligence Team of the VPPSF, which wrecked the France’s aviso of Amyot d'Inville, killing over 200 French troops and defeating the plot of the enemy to build and develop their forces inside the revolutionary rear to sabotage Vietnam’s national resistance war against the French colonialists. Inside the enemy’s rear, the fight of VPPSF officers was even fiercer.

Undergound revolutionary police officers inside the enemy occupied areas launched attacks on traitors and lackeys, which in part contributed to disintegrating the puppet government and defeating the “using Vietnamese to rule Vietnamese” policy of the French colonialists. During the fighting against the enemy in all battlefields many VPPSF officers, heroic martyrs Bui Thi Cuc, Vo Thi Sau and Nguyen Thi Loi stood out with their great deeds of arms, contributing to the glorious history of the whole VPPSF. Particularly, the VPPSF made a large contribution to the historic victory of the Dien Bien Phu Campaign, totally defeating the French colonialists, wiping out them from the country and restoring peace to the nation.

VPPSF in the national war against America’s invasion (1954-1975)

After 1954, Vietnam was temporarily pided into 2 regions: North and South with two strategic missions. The VPPSF actively fulfilled given tasks in various fields and made excellent feats of arms in both fighting the enemy in the southern battlefield and protecting the socialist rear in the North.

In the North, the security and police forces used various methods and forms to implement their tasks while promoting the movement of “All people protecting national security”, preventing, detecting and cracking down on enemy spy organizations on time as well as arrestingthousands of enemy scouts and promptly suppressed emerging reactionary organizations. The Northern security and police forces also defeated the psychological war and sabotage war of the enemy, actively protected the internal security, national defense, the armed forces and the socialist property, effectively prevented and fought crimes and social evils, and sent reinforcements and supports to security forces in the South.

Thanks to the great supports from the North, the security forces of the South managed to form a network of security agencies at all levels, from the Central Department to regional sub-Departments, provincial Divisions, district and communal branches. In the fighting against the enemy, the security forces in the South brought into full play their proactiveness, self-reliance and self-control while relying on the people, coordinating closely with the mass movements and other revolutionary armed forces to continuously attack the enemy in all areas from the highlands and countryside to towns and cities, eliminate anti-revolutionary thugs and informers for the enemy, defeat enemy plans to form “strategic hamlets” and enemy operations “searching and killing, and pacifying”. They also smashed various crafty enemy schemes and policies, including “Chieu hoi” (Open arms), “Phuong Hoang” (Phoenix), “Thien Nga” (Swan) and “Hai Yen” (Seabird). Particularly, the Southern security forces also made a great contribution to the victory of the 1968 Uprising, the 1972 strategic offensive and the Great Victory in the Spring of 1975, liberating the South and unifying the country.

vietnam peoples public security history
Vietnam People's Public Security Force

Public Security Forces in the country-restoration, construction and protection (1975 to present)

April 30, 1975 marked the unification of the country, and security and police forces in the country were also merged into the united Vietnam People’s Public Security Forces (VPPSF). Although the VPPSF has no longer had to fight foreign enemies in the battlefield, it has still suffered a lot hardships, difficulties and sacrifices in the new front. To meet the requirements of its new missions assigned by the Party, State and people, the VPPSF strengthened its organization, increased its personnel, developed its facilities, equipment and human resources, and rolled out its tasks across the country in a comprehensive and synchronous manner.

Under the direct, centralized and united leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) and in close coordination with the Vietnam People’s Army and Central agencies and local authorities at all levels, the VPPSF actively participated in building and consolidating the revolutionary government in the newly liberated areas; organized, managed and re-educated the old Saigon regime’s troops and civilian officials; pursued and arrested ramnants of the old Saigon army; cracked down on reactionary organizations and intelligence networks planted by CIA and the old Saigon regime under their postwar plan; discovered and captured hundreds of groups of secret agents and rangers of hostile forces infiltrating into the country from other countries; defeated plots and activities of overseas Vietnamese reactionaries and domestic dissidents to cause riots and overturn the people’s government. The typical victory of the VPPSF in this period with its great political and social meaning was the special case coded KHCM12, in which the VPPSF defeated the scheme and completely cracked down on the operational network of the anti-revolutionary organization named “National United Front for the Liberation of Vietnam” led by Le Quoc Tuy and Mai Van Hanh and sponsored by international hostile forces, with the aim of overturning the people’s government.

Since 1986, Vietnam has been carrying out renewal (Doi Moi), building and defending the country in the context where the socialist model of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe had collapsed, and international imperialism and hostile forces have hectically implemented the strategy of “peaceful evolution” to cause riots, overthrow the revolutionary government, reject the CPV’s leadership and eliminate the socialist country of Vietnam; and at the same time, they have made full use of “ethnic”, “religious”, “democratic” and “human rights” issues in Vietnam to provoke the public and break the great national unity bloc.

Under the leadership of the CPV, the VPPSF actively took complete control of the situation, resolutely prevented and defeated all sabotage conspiracies and activities of hostile forces and opportunists, preserving socio-political stability. The VPPSF actively advised the Party, State and authorities at all levels to well implement the Party's resolutions on security and order affairs in the new situation; effectively implemented the “National security protection” strategy, the National Program on Crime Prevention and Suppression and the National Program on Drug Prevention and Fighting while promoting the movement of “All people protecting national security”.

The VPPSF proposed approaches and directly solved many complicated cases related to religion, ethnicity, economic security as well as rural, cultural and ideological security; coordinated closely with the involved forces to firmly protect the country's important political, cultural and social events; took the initiative in actively preventing and effectively fighting organized crime, drug-related crime, hi-tech crime, terrorism, transnational crime and other social problems; and promoted traffic order and safety and preserved the peaceful life for the people.

In its construction and development process, the VPPSF have always the nation and the people in both wartimes and peacetimes. During wartimes, the forces drilled in fume and fire of the national liberation wars as well as the national protection wars. Based on the acquired lessons and experiences from the past wars, the forces today continue building up their political stance and enriching their knowledge and professional expertise to better perform their missions in the country’s construction and defense. Over the past more than 70 years of development, the VPPSF have been rewarded many noble awards by the Party and the State, including 16 “Gold Star” Orders; 100 “Ho Chi Minh” Orders; 268 “Independence” Orders; 1,072 titles of “Hero of the People's Armed Forces”; tens of thousands of “Military Exploit” Orders, “Feat of Arms” Orders, and “Fatherland Protection” Orders, for their numerous great victories and achievements (up to 2015).

Following and promoting the glorious traditions, the current generation of public security officers and soldiers is committed to overcoming all challenges and difficulties, persistently continues the path chosen by the CPV and Uncle Ho Chi Minh, is determine to fight and defeat all sabotage conspiracies and activities of hostile forces, and stands side by side with the entire armed forces and people to implement successfully the two strategic tasks of building and defending the socialist Fatherland, for the sake of a prosperous people strong country, democracy, justice and civilisation.

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