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#dontditchthedogs save our front line policing @mikepannett

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A number of leading frontline police officers and commentators have expressed their fears for public safety after a series of announcements by police forces that they plan to cut police dog unit numbers as part of desperate measures to save money.

The cuts to police budgets, imposed by the Government, have led to senior police officers from forces around the country looking for any means they can to reduce budgets and cut costs wherever possible.

This week, Essex Police have announced they will reduce their canine unit capability by 12 dogs, almost half of their existing number. An announcement is expected shortly from the Avon & Somerset, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire forces that they plan to merge services and cut their dog numbers back to just 48 across all three policing areas.

Former Metropolitan and Yorkshire police officer, now author and policing issues spokesman 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.

Following this survey, a campaign on Twitter to highlight the plight of police dogs using the hashtag #DontDitchTheDogs was declared a resounding success after trending as the most popular subject in the UK within minutes and remained so for over an hour, gaining more comment than I’m A Celebrity, and resulting in one Sunday newspaper declaring the efforts an ‘internet sensation’.

“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”

As a result of police officers concerns, Mike Pannett has laid down a challenge to Senior Officers and Police and Crime Commissioners to debate publicly the proposed cuts to police dog and handler numbers.

“I will debate with anyone who wants to try and rationalise that these cuts to police dogs will not affect public safety and will not negatively affect the detection of crime and apprehension of offenders because they will, and they are.”

“I’m dreadfully worried that the majority of Police and Crime Commissioners, most of whom have no operational policing experience are relying on advice from people who do not themselves understand the implications, and are naively signing off these awful decisions without fully appreciating the consequences of their actions. “

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Urgent Warning over exploding paw patrol soap after boy three in intensive care bath bomb exploded

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Three-year-old boy is currently in a critical condition after a canister of Paw Patrol bath foam exploded while he was having a bath

The product has not been recalled, however, we would urge all parents to think twice when thinking about using this product.

The little tot is currently being cared for at Belfast’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children last night.

The little boy has burns to the outside and inside of his body, it is believed he was in the bath with his Paw Patrol Foam soap and it suddenly exploded.

The boy who has not been named was rushed to hospital on blue lights in a critical condition.

A spokesman for the Belfast Trust said the little boy is “in the children’s intensive care unit and his condition is critical”.

Nickelodeon confirmed that they had heard about the incident and that they were investigating the matter.

Confirming “We are terribly sorry to hear about this dreadful incident and we are gathering more information about the licensed product involved.”

Paw Patrol is an animated TV programme that is broadcast on Nickelodeon and is popular with kids and features six rescue dogs.

But they did not say whether or not the product would be withdrawn from sale.

You can buy the bath foam at a range of high street shops.

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Urgent appeal takes 2 seconds to share to help find missing teen from York

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Please share this picture far and wide in hope that we can bring this 13-year-old back home . It only takes one person who shares this to spot her and be that’s difference

North Yorkshire Police is urgently appealing for information to help find a missing 13-year-old girl from York.

Elise Donoghue was last seen leaving her drama class at the York Theatre Royal on St Leonard’s Place just before 8pm on 19 October.

It’s thought Elise is without money or access to a mobile phone, and she is considered vulnerable due to her age.

Police enquiries have been ongoing to locate in York where it is known she has connections in the Fulford and Danesgate areas of the city.

There is also a possibility she headed to York Railway Station and boarded a train heading towards the north-west where she has friends in the Cheshire area. British Transport Police is assisting with enquiries.

Elise is described as white, 5ft 2in tall, blonde hair with a medium build. When she was seen she was wearing a grey hooded -top, black leggings, black Ugg boots and she carrying a shoulder bag.

Anyone who knows where Elise is or have seen a girl matching her description, please call North Yorkshire Police as a matter of urgency on 101, select option 1, and speak to the Force Control Room. Please quote reference number 12170187979.

If Elise you are reading this there is help and support available simply call or text 116000 they will be able to help you free and confidential.

Anyone who is currently missing from home Missing people are here to help you whenever you are ready; they can listen, talk you through what help you need, pass a message for you and help you to be safe. Call. Text. Anytime. Free. Confidential. 116000

They are also on hand to provide support for anyone who has been recently returned home having been missing.

 

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Police Dog Blue finds missing vulnerable teenager hidden in woodland undergrowth

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Police Dog Blue and his handler from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire (BCH) Dog Unit found a vulnerable teenager on Wednesday (October 18).

Officers were called to an address in Friday Bridge, Cambridgeshire at around 10.45pm after concerns were raised about a teenager who had gone missing.

Due to concerns for her welfare, PD Blue and his handler were also called to assist with the search.

German Shepherd Blue was deployed and began searching the local area. Whilst going down a nearby lane, Blue led his handler into an area of woodland and undergrowth.

It was here that the pair found the missing teenager. They were then able to provide immediate care before other officers arrived to take her home.

Inspector Iain Clark, who is the head of the BCH Dog Unit, said: “The officers had numerous places to search and I am glad PD Blue and his handler were able to provide assistance, which saw the teenager safely found within a short period of time.

“I am proud of their work and this is another great example of how the BCH Dog Unit can support other officers around the three counties.”

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