AN AVON and Somerset police dog has won the South West and Wales Police Dog Trials after being put through his paces by judges from across the country last weekend.
The trials, which were hosted this year by Avon and Somerset Police, tested teams from forces across the region on their capabilities across a range of operational dog handling skills.
Police Dog (PD) Ash, ably assisted by his handler Police Sergeant Nick Dalrymple, was ultimately crowned the best in the region. A general purpose police dog with Avon and Somerset since 2019, five-year-old Ash is a German Shepherd whose typical daily duties include tracking offenders, attending public order incidents and helping to locate vulnerable missing people.
Police dogs and their handlers were required to navigate a number of challenges during the three-day event, including tracking people and property; chase and stand-off; emergency recall and use of force when faced with a weapon attack.
Their performances were assessed by judges from the Surrey, Essex and Metropolitan police forces.
While PD Ash emerged as the top points scorer overall, five of the 12 competing teams from across the region gained the requisite marks to send them through to the National Police Dog Trials, to be held in Cirencester in May.
Of these, PD Belle and handler PC Pete Flinn will join PD Ash and handler PS Nick Dalrymple in representing Avon and Somerset.
Chief Dog Instructor Denis McCoy said: “It was a privilege for Avon and Somerset Police to host this year’s regional trials, which have showcased the extremely high levels of commitment and dedication from police dogs and their handlers from across the south west and Wales.
“I’m exceptionally proud of the performances by the Avon and Somerset teams and congratulate those going forward to represent us at the National Police Dog Trials this summer.”
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