Twenty-one police dogs and their handlers came face-to-face with an ‘unruly and noisy crowd’ as the 61st annual National Police Dog trials got underway.
Dogs and their handlers from across the UK have gathered in Nottinghamshire for four days of competition focussed on the core disciplines of dogs policing.
Ending with a public display at Wollaton Hall on Saturday, the trials will see officers and their animals tested in crowd control, tracking, searching, criminal work and obedience.
Some of the best partnerships from all over the UK have been chosen to take part, including PC Chris Duffy and his dog Reno from Nottinghamshire Police.
Speaking after the first-round action at Nottinghamshire Police HQ today (Wednesday) PC Duffy said: “It is a real honour to represent the force at this event and I am really looking forward to the next few days.
“Obviously I am hoping to do well in the event, but I am also just happy to be in the company of so many other specialist officers and their dogs.
“Whilst I am obviously keen to do well myself, I am also keen to learn from some of the other competitors too.”
Today’s test examined participants’ ability to mix with an control a crowd of people.
Competitors will now participate in three days of private competition at farmland near Newark, and at an office site in Nottingham, and at Wollaton Hall.
The competition culminates with a public session from 10am on Saturday at Wollaton Hall, where an Emergency Services Open Day will be taking place.
Superintendent Louise Clarke said: “Police dogs and their handlers perform a unique and valuable role in British policing. From hunting down runaway suspects to finding vulnerable missing people, they perform remarkable feats every single day.
“Theirs is a unique bond that will continue to develop right up until the end of their time together. So, whilst this event is about identifying the very best partnerships in the country, it is also about sharing best practice with colleagues and learning new skills.
“I would like to thank everyone who has played a role in putting this event on, and our sponsors for their support and generosity.”
This year’s trials are sponsored by Royal Canin, Timberbuild Dog Kennels, Rawcut Media and ACS (Animal Care Services Midlands).