Shanghai Amends Police Firearm Policy
   2014-04-21 10:01:36      Web Editor: Fei

Two police officers armed with revolvers on routine patrol in Shanghai as pictured on April 20, 2014. The 9mm revolver issued to the officers Sunday was specially designed by the Ministry of Public Security and can shoot both real and rubber bullets. [Photo: CFP]

More than 1,000 policemen in Shanghai began carrying revolvers while on patrol Sunday as China tightens public security to deal with serious violent crimes.

The Ministry of Public Security invested in the firearms and specially designed them for its police force. The police officers qualified to carry them after undergoing a series of training sessions, law examinations and psychological tests, according to the municipal public security bureau.

The police will carry out routine patrols in densely populated areas including urban centers and transport hubs.

Police officials told Shanghai Daily that the gun seldom jams and its power is moderate to help reduce accidental injuries.

It also has three safety measures built in to ensure that it won't fire accidentally, even if it drops on the ground.

The police bureau said that more than 1,000 officers had passed strict evaluations to carry guns on patrol from a pool of 4,000. Each revolver, imprinted with a unique 10-digit code, is linked to one officer for both training and work. Officers will carry the guns while on duty and return them to their police station when their shift ends.

Chinese police generally do not carry guns and gun crime is rare in China, which has tight control on firearms.

Following the fatal knife attacks in Kunming and Changsha, the ministry said in mid-March that it would carry out armed patrols and take timely measures to handle violent crimes.

Public security organs at all levels are urged to increase work efficiency and further improve emergency command mechanisms in order to fight crime, according to Xinhua News Agency.

In addition to Shanghai, the ministry named some other key cities, such as Changsha, Kunming, Urumqi and Lhasa, where public security will be reinforced to effectively prevent and crack down on criminal activities.

The ministry also launched a three-month program in early March to train policemen on using firearms in accordance with the law. Training mainly focuses on policemen who patrol streets and handle emergencies in big cities and county-level regions.  

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