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Labs on the beat

MERSEYSIDE POLICE has welcomed five new four-legged recruits to its dogs section… but not German Shepherds, as you might expect,

The five Labrador dogs, Max, Lily, Charlie, Barney and Jack, along with their handlers, successfully passed out from an eight-week passive drug dog training course at the force’s Mather Avenue dog section.

The dogs can indicate if any person has been in contact with any one of a variety of controlled substances, and once questioned, officers may then be able to conduct a search under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

The dogs are particularly useful in large crowds such as at football matches, outdoor concerts and other events, as they are able to sense the air around an individual, follow the smell and home in on it.

The dogs are called ‘passive’ as they act differently from traditional search dogs by remaining calm and indicating a find by sitting still.

Inspector Neil Davies, head of Merseyside Police dogs section, said: ‘This course increases fivefold our force capability in the area of drug detection work that has a proven record for success.

‘Even while training, the dogs are able to identify the presence of drugs on members of the public.
‘The dogs will work specifically with the transport infrastructure, night time economy and any large scale event or occasion where crowds are gathered. Our aim is for Merseyside Police’s dogs section to be the best in the UK.

‘We already have a number of operations planned in Merseyside and will be assisting other police forces in the future.’

The force has a number of specialist dogs, which carry out a variety of roles to assist their police handlers, such as tracking, searching and helping to detain offenders.