Sniffer dogs seel new training site

Mon, 09 Jul 2007

Gwent Police is on the look out for businesses, factories and schools that will allow them to test out the skill of theiir sniffer dogs .

The reason for this is that the force’s 21 sniffer dogs only get to train in locations where few people venture. This makes it easier for the dogs to find the scent they are looking for.

In order to fully test the dogs, handlers are looking for locations where there are many smells.

The tests will be conducted out of normal business hours.

Sgt Ian Wilkinson said, "At the moment we are using empty buildings where there may only be 20 scents .

"We want places where there are thousands of scents so the dogs can pick up the scent they are looking for among a variety."

Presently the police authority has 12 German shepherd general purpose dogs, and nine spaniels and Labradors. Out of these dogs seven are drug dogs trained to detect cash and firearms as well, whereas there are two others that detect explosives.

Sgt Wilkinson continued, "We want anywhere where there has been a lot of people - maybe a school or a factory. We can even use buses, just anywhere where people have been.

"We would go there regularly at convenient times, when people have gone home for the day, and this could be reassuring for the owners to know that police and dogs will be turning up, so it will be an added security benefit.

"At the moment we do use some police premises, but the dogs are pretty familiar with training there and we want to challenge them.

"We would make sure everything was clean and tidy and it would be at the owners' convenience and we would carry out risk assessments .

"And we would be prepared to travel anywhere in the Gwent area."

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