Posted: Fri 6th Aug 2021

Police dogs in region equipped with bullet and stab proof body armour to keep them safe while on duty

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Friday, Aug 6th, 2021

Dogs from the Cheshire and North Wales Police Alliance Dog section have been kitted out with bulletproof body armour to keep them safe while they are on duty.

All dogs within the unit have been fitted with custom made lightweight body armour which has been designed to be ballistic, stab, slash and spike resistant.

The armour was chosen by the dog section after being evaluated for protection, and that comfort, movement, agility and speed were not compromised.

Chief Inspector Simon Newell, Head of Cheshire and North Wales Alliance Policing – which incorporates armed response units and dog sections – said he was “pleased Cheshire and North Wales Police Alliance Dog section has now taken delivery of their own made to measure body armour to keep them safe whilst protecting the public”

“This has been trialled and developed for over a year so to see the finished article is really impressive and very rewarding.”

Earlier this year CI Simon Newell said “A number of the Alliance police dogs are also trained as a less lethal tactical option in support of firearms incidents.

“The provision of body armour for the dogs is, therefore, necessary to minimise the risk of harm by maximising the level of protection to them, as we wouldn’t send our police officers out to face danger without the appropriate protective equipment, and the same should be said for our police dogs.

“Over the last 12 months the Alliance have been trialling body armour to identify the most suitable in terms of protection (ballistic and stab/spike resistant) and comfort to ensure the dogs movement, agility and speed is not compromised.

“To give our dogs the best possible protection, all of the Alliance General Purpose dogs have been individually fitted for their new body armour and we will soon be taking delivery of the new equipment.

“This shows a real commitment from both Cheshire and North Wales Police to recognise the value of and protect their prize assets…..the police dogs.”

In May, Dogs from the unit have been issued with individual collar numbers and ID cards.

The decision to introduce collar numbers was taken following the passing of Finn’s Law in 2019, an initiative which saw PC David Wardell of Hertfordshire Police campaign tirelessly for the better protection of service dogs after his dog, Finn, was stabbed whilst pursuing a suspect.

Finn sustained serious stab wounds to his chest and head, but only criminal damage charges could be brought against the attacker.

Finn’s Law was eventually passed through parliament, which means that anyone who causes unnecessary suffering to a service animal whilst in the commission of its duties, will be able to be charged under Section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and they will no longer be able to hide behind the defence of fear.

The legislation, coupled with the government’s plans to increase maximum sentences for animal cruelty offences to five years in prison, will make sure those who harm service animals are punished accordingly.

Traditionally, a collar number is issued to an officer at the start of their career, it is then their unique identification number to the police force they are serving.

The collar number is clearly displayed on their epaulettes – worn on the shoulders of their uniform.

All dogs will now be provided with a PD (Police Dog) collar number, which will be displayed on collars and harnesses.

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