Police Dog Section Victim Of Cuts
7:47am 14th January 2015
They're a vital part of policing - but their numbers have been dramatically reduced.
Wessex FM has learnt that Dorset Police's dog section has been a victim of cuts.
In 1991 there were 21 General Patrol Dogs across the county - now there are just 12.
PC Colin Spender trains dogs for Dorset Police - he explains some of the roles they perform.
"The dogs are used for searching purposes. And that can be for fleeing subjects, criminals, persons that have made off from crime scenes. The searching side of it also includes missing persons. Quite often children and elderly people go missing in certain areas and we would bring the dogs in to try to locate them."
Dorset Police say a new breeding programme has led to more police dogs passing their training.
PC Spender says the success rate for new recruits is higher.
"Now with the introduction of puppy schemes we have specific bloodlines which we know are good. So we try to get the dogs from 8 weeks of age and then take it on up until its about 12 to 18 months, and then take it through its course, knowing full well that by that time the dog is going to become a successful police dog."