The Wuhan Evening News today informs us what some girls in Wuhan, Hubei province, exclaimed yesterday when they saw the newly-arrived riot police in full kit: “How handsome!”, and “I feel so safe now!”
The black-clad, “handsome” and impressively armed riot police that apparently so impressed the girls formally launched their station in Wuhan yesterday with a patrol in 14 locations in the city. So the front page of the Wuhan Evening News (武汉晚报) today displays a member of the city’s riot police in full kit under the headline “Wuhan riot police (特警) armed to the teeth”, and outlines in detail the tasks assigned to the riot police and the gear that each member carries.
The main headline on the newspaper’s front page today reports that the real estate market in Wuhan has seen the fastest growth ever in the last six months, with an average of 405 units sold daily.
Each of the seven central districts in Wuhan now has its own riot police patrol vehicle, and each vehicle has three riot police members attached to it. As a person involved with the riot police explained to the newspaper, the responsibilities of the riot police are largely to deter terrorist violence, to handle cases of extreme violence or other emergencies, and to act as a first rapid response force once any problems occur.
In 14 years, the newspaper informs us, the gear used by the Wuhan riot police has “jumped” in quality by five grades. Back in 1999 the riot police had only one gun for every three members, but the first “jump” occurred in 2003 when every member was allocated a truncheon, a self-defense tool, handcuffs, a pistol, a handheld transmitter, and ammunition. The second jump occurred in 2004 when Wuhan’s 70 patrol vehicles were increased to 100. Then in 2008 each member was issued with nine new devices: a digital camera, a recording pen, a rope, a baton, a medical kit, a flash light on the shoulder, warning tape, a luminous vest, and equipment boxes. The fourth “jump” occurred in 2012 when the street platforms housing police officers were enlarged and expanded; and then finally this year the quality of the weaponry and patrol vehicles were improved.
So as the newspaper’s front page illustrates today, each riot police member currently carries the following kit (including no less than three firearms):
- Bullet-proof helmet
- Bullet-proof vest
- Gas mask
- Tactical vest (战术背心)
- Cut-resistant gloves
- 97-1 shotgun, Chinese-made
- Type 92 pistol, Chinese-made
- Type 95 automatic assault rifle, Chinese-made
- Handheld transmitter
- Communication device
- Explosion-proof blanket
- Car obstruction device