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Publication date:- 2017-16-12

user-generated Headlines and reports on this page = 5 news items.    Page - 6.

Police Dog Handlers and Police Dogs Receive Awards from both RSPCA and Assistant Chief Constable

The Officers - Constables Pete Rhodes and PD Maggie, Pete Maher and PD Max, Tony Eyres and PD Ben and Simon Coley and PD Alfie - volunteered to attend, most from home, and carried out searches for secondary explosive devices at the MEN and other locations under stressful conditions.

THE bravery of Police Dog Handlers and Police Dogs was recognised at an award ceremony held at the force's Mather Avenue station, on Wednesday, 14 December 2017. Representatives from the RSPCA and Assistant Chief Constable Ian Critchley presented the awards to the teams together with 3 handlers and their dogs who successfully completed their 13 weeks training course.

The Dobie Cup was given to the Explosive dogs teams who deployed to the MEN arena in Manchester following the terror attack in May 2017.  The citation for the awards states:- "They demonstrated the highest levels of professionalism and dedication to Merseyside Police and the communities of both Merseyside and Greater Manchester. They worked a very long shift without complaint and demonstrated true resilience whilst ensuring the dogs welfare throughout. They assisted search areas not knowing if other explosive devices had been planted despite the intelligence at the time stating that a secondary terrorist was outstanding and in possession of an explosive device. This work allowed areas to be declared safe and assisted other emergency services with the triage and removal of victims of the explosion."

The Steen Cup was awarded to Constable Paul Hughes and PD Tex.  On Friday, 24 March 2017 Constable Hughes and PD Tex responded to an incident whereby a wanted male was being pursued by a foot patrol. After a short chase the wanted male was joined by 2 other males who had all became aggressive to the lone Officer and assisted with an escape. Con Hughes detains 1 male and eventually he is handed over to area patrols and arrested for obstruct Police. The team then start to search the area for the other outstanding male and after a long and vigorous search he is located by PD Tex hiding inside a bin shed of a commercial premises. Upon locating the male PD Tex has then been kicked and punched numerous times as the offender has tried to get away from him.  The citation reads:- "There aren't a lot of dogs within the section that can search for prolonged periods especially away from their handler. It takes a lot of skill, and persistence to train a Police Dog to such a high standard. Tex has himself shown bundles of courage and determination to prevent the offender from making off ensuring that the public and colleagues are safe."

3 handlers and their Police Dogs:- Constable Simon Harris and PD Kane; Constable David Bartley and PD Chico and Constable David Smith and PD Wallis; also marked the successful completion of their 13 week training by taking part in a demonstration in front of colleagues, family, friends and school children from Green Park school in Maghull. Constable Harris was also given an award for being the best Officer and dog on the training course. The course entailed teaching the dogs, amongst other things, tracking; searching properties and open areas; chasing and detaining offenders; confronting and disarming an offender armed with a weapon and agility.

Assistant Constable Ian Critchley said:- "Our Officers in the dogs section do a fantastic job day in and day out with their Police Dogs. They are often called out to manage difficult and challenging situations as well as do excellent work in recovering drugs, firearms and cash. It is great to see the explosives dogs teams recognised for the assistance they offered following the terror attack in Manchester earlier this year and for Constable Paul Hughes and PD Tex for their sterling work in detaining an offender. The demonstration by our newest recruits; Kane, Chico and Wallis; and their handlers shows that the force remains in good hands and that our dogs will continue to assist in keeping the streets of Merseyside safe in the future."

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