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Beijing Uses Helicopters to Fight Against Crime
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Four helicopters will join the Beijing police next year to improve its airborne law enforcement capability, and to ensure a safe 2008 Olympic Games, a top official said yesterday in Beijing.

The helicopters will be used for search and rescue, traffic control, evidence collection for accidents, and high-altitude photography, Tao Junsheng, deputy director of the finance and equipment bureau of the Ministry of Public Security said at the 2006 China International Exhibition on Police Equipment.

Police helicopters can monitor 15 times as large an area as ground police, and for areas where "air police" are employed, "robbery, theft and other street crimes will be reduced by 50 per cent," he said.

The four helicopters will be supplied by AgustaWestland (Agusta), a leading global helicopter design and manufacturing company based in Italy and Britain.

Contracts will be signed soon between the Beijing Public Security Bureau and AgustaWestland, said Agusta Asia sales director Fulvio Maurogiovanni.

And to demonstrate that the company wants to be part of the coming Olympic Games, they agreed to give the fourth helicopter free of charge, Maurogiovanni said.

The first helicopter will be handed over to the Beijing police next April, and the others will arrive by the end October the same year, according to Agusta.

(China Daily May 25, 2006)

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