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Saturday, 25 October 2014

New Cumbria police crime-fighting puppy

SOUTH Cumbria police have signed up a new recruit in the form of a crime-fighting pup.

Once trained, 10-week-old Bronn will use his puppy power during public order incidents, to hunt for missing people, search crime scenes and track down offenders.

The latest arrival was brought in by the county’s force from the Isle of Man to start his training as a police dog last month.

The pup was one of three donated from the dog breeding programme at the Isle Of Man Constabulary and will join the existing 12 general purpose police canines and the 14 drugs animals and explosives dogs currently assisting the fight against crime.

The pup, along with two females called Gwen and Larna who will be on duty in Carlisle, will be replacing three police dogs which are all due to retire, including the popular Dexter.

Barrow bobby PC Glenn Myerscough explained how for the next 12 months, the new recruits will work alongside their handlers to form a bond, socialise with a diverse range of people and gain experience in a variety of environments and locations.

The bond is already clear between the officer and the animal as they start the intensive training.

He said: “Bronn is a very confident dog and really inquisitive. The next twelve months is all about familiarising the dogs with as many new people, places and experiences as possible, so that they are able to deal with any situation they're faced with when they start work.

“I will take him to football matches, down Cornwallis Street and to the railway station. All things to build his confidence in all surroundings.

“We spend a lot more time playing with the dogs than you would a family pet, and rather than fluffy animals and balls, these dogs have sets of keys and tools as toys, so that they get used to the kinds of materials and objects they will be expected to search for at crime scenes in the future.”

Bronn and his colleagues will also be exposed to loud noises by playing recordings of thunder, lightning and fireworks on a stereo so they get used to the unexpected, and grow into bold working dogs.

It will be at least a year before the pups begin training in earnest, and around 15 months before they start working, giving them the time they need to grow in confidence and strength.

Members of the public will be able to follow the progress of Bronn and his follow pups at www.facebook.com/cumbriapolice and at @policedogunit on Twitter.

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