Beijing bumps up security patrols

Beijing bumps up security patrols
Paramilitary policemen stand guard at a check point along a road into Beijing, May 20, 2014. Local media reported that armed police were dispatched to reinforce traffic police at 17 check points screening vehicles before they enter Beijing, adding that the personnel reinforcement will last till middle of June.

The Chinese capital is rolling out a three-tier patrol plan that covers the skies, subways and streets after a series of terrorist attacks across the country.

Armed patrols will be particularly strengthened in 14 major areas, the Beijing Public Security Bureau said on Thursday.

The areas include two popular shopping districts, Wangfujing and Xi'dan, and the Beijing Railway Station - all places where large crowds are flowing each day.

"Once an emergency happens, nearby armed police will take one minute to rush to these areas," said Zhang Bing, deputy director of Beijing Public Security Bureau.

Previously, police didn't carry firearms during patrols and it took them 10 minutes to arrive.

But recent terrorist attacks across the nation have highlighted the necessity for police to act fast, Zhang said.

According to Zhang Limin, director of the anti-terrorism department at Beijing Public Security Bureau, police will deploy 150 armed patrol vehicles.

Chen Xiaoli, director of the traffic department at Beijing Public Security Bureau, said security checks in the subways have been tightened, and 2,000 police officers and 3,000 auxiliary police have been sent to ensure police will be present at each subway station to cope with emergencies.

Lin Bo, director under the bureau's police aviation department, said five police helicopters will also be deployed to conduct air security patrols along 18 routes, including city and suburban areas, as well as areas neighbouring Beijing.

"The helicopters will collect intelligence, or once encountering emergencies, they will immediately investigate from the air, and carry out air support and rescue for the land action."

Beijing resident Zong Wenkai from Fengtai district said the measure will improve police efficiency and help deter violent and terrorist activities.

"Especially in the subways where the police will be present in each station, I feel so safe," he said.

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