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No more bark or bite for police dogs!

News that Greater Manchester Police service is considering closure of its police dogs unit has met with surprise from Councillor Peter Evans, a former GMP Police Officer.

Councillor Evans, currently Mayor of Rochdale, said his personal involvement with police dogs was a very good one and explained that they are excellent in open country as they are able to follow "crushed vegetation trails most efficiently".

Councillor Evans also explained that conversely, the dogs can have problems in following a trail in built up areas however he gave examples of how dogs had hepled effect arrests that would otherwise not have been made:

He said: "I recall several incidents where police dogs have been a great advantage. I give two examples:

"1. The top Manchester gangland driver was seen driving through Hyde and a long chase started around 10.40pm and finished about 4am in Bredbury - caught by a police dog in open country.

"2. A police officer had arrested a man for burglary and handcuffed him. When the other gang members realised the officer was alone they returned with the expressed intent of taking the key from the officer by force and releasing their man. The officer threw the key into a field to prevent the loss of his prisoner (and give time for assistance to arrive). The whole gang was caught and the police dog found the key in seconds. The police officer escaped serious injury.

"Dogs are a great sobering influence when there is a threat of civil disobedience.

"I believe the loss of police dogs is more down to a funding shortage than anything else. GMP are still, I believe, the sixth worst funded police force in the UK. We are set to lose more officers again if present expectations for funding are realised next year."