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Cops to campaign for Canine Colleagues #dontditchthedogs

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A number of current and former police officers have launched a major campaign to highlight the dangers posed by the current round of major cuts to police dog units.

Senior Police officers around the country are being forced to massively reduce numbers of dogs and handlers in their respective force areas as they battle to meet significant budgetary restraints imposed on them by reductions in central Government funding.

Essex Police recently announced they will reduce their canine unit capability by 12 dogs, almost half of their existing number and in the last few days Avon & Somerset, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire police forces announced they plan to merge services and cut their dog numbers back to just 48 animals across all three policing areas.

The #DontDitchTheDogs campaign, is quickly gaining massive support not just from within the police community, but also from the general public and other dog interest and welfare groups.

At 7.30pm tonight, the campaign is asking people to demonstrate their support for police dog units under threat by joining in a mass tweetathon on the social media network Twitter, and spread the hashtag #DontDitchTheDogs.

A similar event recently led to the hashtag being recorded as the most popular thread on Twitter in the UK for nearly the entire two hours of the event.

Spokesman for the campaign, former Metropolitan and Yorkshire police officer, now best selling author Mike Pannett said “The Government and Police Chiefs consistently repeat that cutbacks are not affecting the frontline. This is simply not true, and none more so than with regard to police dogs”. “The UK Home Office have failed with overview”

“The public will be shocked to hear that many forces have already dramatically reduced their number of police dogs. Greater Manchester Police for instance used to have over 130 handlers, they now have just 36 with a loss of around 130 dogs in less than 7 years. West Yorkshire Police have almost halved their dog numbers recently and West Midlands police have lost another five dog handler jobs this year”

“Cambridgeshire recently reduced their number of dog handlers from 29 to 18 and cut the number of actual dogs by around 25. Like many other forces now, they no longer have any dogs on duty after 4am.”

“The huge counties of Avon and Somerset, Gloucester and Wiltshire plan to share 48 dogs, an impossible arithmetic task to maintain 24 hour cover, seven days a week. The reality means one of two dogs at a time shared between three counties covering thousands of square miles and protecting millions of people”

North Wales Police have lost 25% of dog handlers and operate this huge area with 9 handlers in total. South Yorkshire Police are on the verge of cutting around half its section.

“Police dogs are not a specialist role, they are a fundamental part of modern day frontline policing” added Mr Pannett. It’s taken years to build up “best breeding” which produce the best police dogs in the world! Decimated.

Despite a recent survey, promoted via social media site Twitter suggesting that over 97% of people think there should be more police dogs on the streets not less, police bosses continue to appear convinced that reducing the number so police dogs available is a viable way to cut costs without affecting policing capabilities, leading many to declare that making these announcements now is akin to declaring a Happy Christmas for Criminals

“Police dogs track down criminals 24 hours a day. They find vulnerable missing people who would otherwise die of exposure, they recover millions of pounds worth of drugs and search thousands of buildings and venues for explosives” said Mike Pannett

With the cuts made so far, the operational reality is that it officers can be waiting an hour of more for a dog to arrive at the scene of a burglary. Experts will tell you that after this length of time, the scent will have gone and the trail will be cold meaning officer on the ground will have little to no chance of tracing the suspects. This is simply not acceptable”.

“Add to that the health and safety implications to both the dogs, their handlers and the general public if officers are having to race backwards and forwards across counties on blue lights to get from one job to the next. The risk of accidents is being increased many times over”

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Scott Findlay subjected young mother to harrowing sex attack & punched her while she cradled 6-week-old baby

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A MAN who raped a young mother and repeatedly punched her as she cradled a six-week-old baby in her arms has been jailed.

Scott Findlay subjected his victim to a “prolonged and harrowing” attack in front of her two young children.

Today, at York Crown Court, Judge Simon Hickey sent the 27-year-old, from Ferryhill, in County Durham, to prison for 15 years for offences including rape, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and threats to kill.

The court heard that the victim pleaded with Findlay, who was armed with a kitchen knife, for her children to be prevented from seeing the attack.

Speaking after sentencing, Detective Constable Katrina Meisuria, of Durham Constabulary’s Safeguarding Unit, praised the victim for her courage in giving evidence.

She said: “Scott Findlay subjected his victim to a prolonged, harrowing and violent attack in front of her two young children.

“It took great bravery by the victim to provide evidence at court reliving those events again.

“There is no doubt these crimes have had a life-changing effect on the victim and her children, but the conviction will provide the family with the opportunity to move forward”.

In a statement released through the police, the victim said: “This has been an extremely difficult time for me and my family.

“The incidents occurred only six weeks after the birth of my daughter who was in my arms as Scott Finlay repeatedly punched me about the head and my seven-year-old looked on in terror begging for him to stop hurting his mammy.

“No child should ever have to witness such an attack”.

She added: “My family and I are pleased with the outcome and relieved it is finally over and we can move forward to rebuilding our life”.

After a four-day trial at Durham Crown Court in May, a jury found Findlay guilty of three counts of rape, one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and one count of making threats to kill.

He had earlier pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving while disqualified and criminal damage.

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Man attacked staff with a traffic cone at petrol station

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Police are appealing for information after a man was assaulted with a traffic cone at a petrol station in Newcastle.

At around 12.05pm on Monday afternoon police received a report that a staff member at the Shell garage on the Great North Road in Gosforth had been assaulted with a traffic cone.

The male offender had filled up a motorcycle with fuel but was challenged by staff when it appeared that he would not pay for the fuel.

He became aggressive and then assaulted the staff member with a traffic cone before fleeing the scene on foot in the direction of The Three Mile Inn.

The victim of the assault was later taken to hospital with a suspected broken nose and cheekbone. It is also believed the motorcycle the offender left at the garage was stolen.

Enquiries into the incident are ongoing and police are now appealing for help from the public to identify the offender.

He is described as wearing all black with a white motorcycle helmet that had the visor down.

Officers also want to speak to any witnesses to the incident as there were a number of people on the garage forecourt who police have still not spoken to.

They are also keen to speak to any motorists who may have dash-cam footage showing the motorcycle in question.

Anyone who knows the man, or witnessed the incident on Monday, is encouraged to contact police on 101 quoting log 423 13/08/18 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

You can also email the OIC on [email protected] or report online at www.northumbria.police.uk/contact.

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Women takes wrong turn at level crossing sparking police response

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A woman has brought Metro trains to a standstill after a woman took a wrong turn at a level crossing and drove on the tracks.

How on earth she managed to do that we will never know, despite the bumpy journey and being on a train track she continued her journey, Maybe she was taking a shortcut?.

Police raced to the scene and Trains were suspended causing delays between Newcastle Airport and Regent Centre after the car was spotted on the line at Kingston Park.

Nexus Rail worker Danny Usher has told Police Hour that an 89-year-old woman got confused and took a wrong turn and made a mistake,

“The lady was 89 years old the poor women got confused and made a mistake luckily nobody was hurt and the police have taken her licence off her for her own safety”

Police have said the driver had gotten lost and took a wrong turn onto the railway and was heading towards Bank Foot station before she stopped at the platform.

Police responded to the incident at 8.30pm and helped get the woman out of the car to safety.

The track has also been checked for any damage before trains resumed at 9.15pm.

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