(A police drone is displayed at Airshow China 2016)
At least 1,000 drones have been put into use by police nationwide to assist in a wide range of operations, including tracking suspects, monitoring traffic and locating opium farms, according to the Ministry of Public Security.
The actual number is likely to be much higher, according to Li Mu, who works at the ministry's test center for special police equipment and oversees the quality of unmanned aircraft.
Shenzhen is the world's largest manufacturing hub for drones, as nearly 70 percent of consumer drones on the global market are made in the southeastern coastal city, which is home to more than 300 drone companies, according to the city's commerce bureau.
Most of police drones are small- and medium-size quadcopters that use two pairs of identical fixed pitched propellers, Li said. Quadcopters are believed to be the most commonly used drones in civilian, business and public sectors because they are cheap and easy to control.
Reports show police in the cities of Beijing and Wuhan as well as Shandong, Jiangsu and Shaanxi provinces often deploy drones in operations.