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November 12, 2013

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Dog patrols add bite to crime fight

POLICE dog patrols have been strengthened in Zhabei District as the end of the year approaches, officers said yesterday.

In the period leading up the Spring Festival holiday, which next year runs from January 30 to February 5, there is usually an upsurge in thefts.

To deter thieves, since November 4, Zhabei police have increased the number of dogs in a patrol from one to two, an officer surnamed Ma said.

Dog patrols started about a year ago in Zhabei and areas in which they patrol have seen numbers of crime cases halved, police said.

Each of the 11 police stations is allocated one dog, with four kept in reserve.

Among them is Hu Zi, a two-year-old German shepherd, which has worked at the police station in Zhabei’s Daning area for more than four months.

In September, a scooter thief had a shock when he found Hu Zi hot on his trail, police said.

Police monitoring video surveillance spotted a suspicious-looking man near the Daning Life Hub , a commercial plaza on September 2.

An officer surnamed Chen was alerted and took Hu Zi to the scene.

Chen identified a man in green T-shirt as the suspect and waited until he committed the theft. When he saw the man fiddling with a scooter, Chen approached him and attempted to detain him.

The thief fled on foot to a greenbelt along the middle of the road. Chen and Hu Zi gave chase and caught him when he tired.

“Hu Zi did a good job. I saw the thief slow down and start to tremble when he saw the officer and dog chasing him,” said Feng Bing, an officer who witnessed the whole episode on surveillance cameras.

“Police dogs can act as a deterrent to criminals,” added Feng.

Zhabei is the first district in the city to have police dog patrols.

Zhang Jing, a Zhabei police commander, said they review the scope of the dog patrols every week according to their analysis.

Residents don’t seem to mind the sight of police dogs on their streets, said officers.

When Ma was patrolling the plaza with police dogs Hu Zi and Seap, children were eager to see them, he said.



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