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Sniffer dog praised for record arrests

A SNIFFER dog from Durham has been named the best in Britain after notching up more than 100 arrests in less than 12 months.

Three-year-old Dibley is a labrador with a golden touch and his sensitive nose has helped to clock up 122 arrests this year.

The sniffing skills of the Durham Police dog are now so much in demand that handler PC Alison Dawson regularly takes him to help out at operations run by forces throughout the UK.
She said: ‘No other dog in the country has had so many arrests to their credit. Dibley is absolutely phenomenal. At one time, we had eight people in prison on drug supplying charges thanks to him.’

PC Dawson's previous dog, Jake, was the force's first passive scanning dog and notched up 50 arrests. Four times during his career, angry drug takers attacked Jake. He is now retired.

Dibley and PC Dawson have been partners since Dibley was eight weeks old. He was trained by Wilf Carr, at the force's dog training school, and became adept at detecting a range of drugs, including cocaine, heroin, amphetamine, diamorphine, ecstasy, cannabis, and rohypnol.

Most of his work is carried out in pubs and clubs, where his keen nose can detect minute traces of illegal substances, but he has also worked in businesses and schools.

The dog is trained to stop and sit when he detects the smallest trace of a drug on a person - he will then not move.

PC Dawson said: ‘When he is working he is simply on fire. He is food rewarded and won't move until he gets a reward - or a pat on the head. I have come across lots of scanning dogs, but Dibley is the best I have ever seen. He just wants to work.

‘We are one of the few forces that regularly go into pubs and we have been asked to help out with operations in Northumbria, Cleveland and North Yorkshire, and as far as North Wales.’