Beijing unleashes 650 police dogs as part of anti-terror crackdown

PUBLISHED : Monday, 02 June, 2014, 4:06pm
UPDATED : Monday, 02 June, 2014, 5:44pm

Hundreds of canines are serving at the front line of anti-terrorism in Beijing as the city boosts its security in response to growing threats.

Beijing police has dispatched 650 K9 police dogs to patrol the streets.

Traditionally K9 units mostly only carry out duties at security checks such as airports and railway stations to detect illicit or hazardous items. But Beijing police are now giving the dogs a more aggressive role in combating potential terrorists.

The dogs are said to be trained to go after specific parts of a suspect’s body under police officers’ instructions, according to The Beijing News.

And once unleashed, they are able to tear along at speeds up to 40km/h.

“No one can get away. That’s for sure,” one of the officials was quoted as saying.

The K9 units are mostly being deployed at bustling and crowded downtown areas in Beijing to act as a deterrent against potential crime.

According to police, the dogs have received at least six months of training before being put to work on the streets. They will typically serve seven years before retirement.

K9 units this year have already helped police to capture 126 suspects and intercept some 600 boxes of illicit fireworks that together weighed more than 18 tonnes.

This is only one of several approaches the nation’s capital has recently adopted to significantly ramp up its security oversight after the country last month declared a year-long battle against terrorism.

It has mobilised over 100,000 citizen army members, mostly volunteers and residential community leaders, to patrol across the capital for any suspicious acts.

At some major subway stations, all passengers are now subject to a full body scan before they can board trains.