Northamptonshire Police's first ever victim recovery dog joins the team
Victim recovery dogs are trained to search for and detect human remains
Northamptonshire's Police Dog Section has been joined by a newly licenced victim recovery dog - the first of its kind the section has ever seen.
Two-year-old Springer Spaniel, Alfie, successfully passed his licencing alongside his handler, PC Ian McDonald on March 31 after one year of continuous training and a further six weeks of intensive skills training.
Alfie's handler, PC Mcdonald, said: “I have been really impressed with Alfie’s work ethic and strong commitment to his training. He has clearly come from a litter of well trained spaniels, as both his brother and sister licenced alongside him and will be working in the neighbouring Bedfordshire region.
“The successful completion of his training was made even more special as it coincided with his second birthday on April 2. He truly is a fantastic dog and I can’t wait to start working with him and see the fantastic results come rolling in.”
Victim recovery - or crime scene dogs - are trained to search for and detect human remains. They can be used to detect victims of drowning and forensically search crime scenes for evidence of DNA.
Alfie has been trained in victim recovery, bodily fluid detection, crime scene investigation and water bank side recovery. He will be providing policing support across Northamptonshire due to the specialist nature of his training.
Alfie's licencing brings the current total number of working dogs within the police's section to 15, including general purpose and specialist search dogs.
This continued expansion follows the recent launch of the section's new fleet of 4x4 Skoda Kodiaq 2.0s.
Chief Constable Nick Adderley said: “Within the last few years, Northamptonshire Police’s Dog Section has gone from strength to strength, introducing a range of new policing skills never before seen within the county, which PD Alfie – in his victim recovery role – is only the latest example of.
“Whilst the results achieved by Alfie won’t always be in the best of circumstances, his vital work and unparalleled skills in victim recovery and forensic detection will prove hugely beneficial for policing the county and providing effective cross-border support with police forces nationwide.
“However the investment in the section doesn’t end here, as we will see more handlers and police dogs passing their licensing and joining the team in the coming months. I am impressed on a daily basis with the crime fighting capabilities and successful outcomes achieved by the police dogs and their handlers, and look forward to continue seeing them set the standard for canine policing across the country.”
Alfie will be formally assigned a unique collar number which will stay with him throughout his policing career.
To keep up with PC Mcdonald and Alfie’s progress, you can follow the Northants Police Dog Section on Twitter @NorthantsDogs.