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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Training ensures that crime does not pay

By Wu Wencong and Yang Wanli (China Daily)

09:44, February 24, 2012

Nanjing police had armed officers searching the city for "Brother Headshot," in the days after he shot and killed a man to steal the money he withdrew from a bank on Jan 6. The killer is still at large. (You You for / China Daily)

Violent incidents have helped shape China's police force, Wu Wencong and Yang Wanli report in Beijing.

Violence, murder, gruesome deaths and vicious lives: the stories of some of China's most hardened criminals may have captured headlines but their very notoriety may curtail their criminal career.

Violent crime has done more than just get media attention, according to a leading expert, who says it has played an important role in developing the skills of the security forces.

Wang Dawei said that each dangerous villain - especially those who, for a time, evaded capture - has in some way led to improvements in equipment, forensic science or psychological profiling.

The Chinese People's Public Security University professor spoke to China Daily as authorities continue the hunt for a killer nicknamed "Brother Headshot", who last month shot a man outside a bank in Nanjing and stole 200,000 yuan ($31,700).

"Take the Wang brothers (thieves who killed or injured 18 people in 1983), for example," the professor said. "Capturing them cost the lives of many officers and greatly challenged the combat capabilities of the police."

However, it was during the pursuit of the duo that authorities first offered a reward for information leading to their arrest. The experience also led to upgrades in weaponry, Wang Dawei said.

"Equipment at that time was poor," the professor said. "All kinds of firearms were used by armed policemen, including a type of gun that can be loaded with only one bullet."

Being so soon after the "cultural revolution" (1966-76), training for police had also just been restored, he added. "A police training school in Xi'an (capital of Shaanxi province) was converted from a public toilet. Another school I've been to was once located in a cave."

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