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Week 4 - Sniffing out cash

January 29th 2016 | PC Richie Vinen

Week 4:

Day 13:

Chertsey Mead.

Week started with imprinting PD Duke on cash using the blocks, this was in preparation of Duke and PC BRISTOW licencing on Wednesday. Whilst this was happening a search was set up along the corridor using three hides of drugs and guns. We also had visitors from the Ministry Of Defence for a few hours to watch the training techniques. All the dogs did very well and are all becoming much stronger and far more independent.

Guildford County Council Offices:

During the evening we moved to a LIVE venue to further test and push the dogs along. The County offices are large and very hot which causes all sorts of problems for the dogs. Four hides were put out by Andy and each team took their turn to search. All the dogs did immensely well and worked through the heat and strange location and took it in their stride. Mini Meg became impatient at one of the hides because I wasn’t rewarding fast enough, so she decided to go under the cabinet she was indicating on and dig the gun out from where it was hidden. She then proudly looked it again and looked at me as if to say “IT’S THERE, NOW GIVE ME MY BALL”. All other hides were nicely located and indicated on.

Day 14:

Stonebridge:

We started day 14 by heading down to Stonebridge to put the dogs through the vehicles, this was again to prepare PD DUKE for his licensing. We had two vehicles to search with one hide in each, one of MDMA and one of heroin. All the dogs are now very confident inside vehicles and are freely searching and clambering around over everything, which shows how far they have grown in confidence and ability. Needless to say both substances were located by all teams.

At lunch we headed back to Surrey Police HQ where we met a BBC Film crew who were going to be filming us for a dog programme to be aired later in the year. The crew then filmed us as we all completed a search of the HQ’s basement for three hides of ketamine, guns and amphetamine. The dogs were not put off by the camera crew in the slightest and Meg decided to stick her face right in the camera lens on a couple of occasions - I’m pretty sure she enjoyed the media attention.

Day 15:

Chertsey Mead:

Only five off us today TPD’S Meg, Jack, Trooper, Scout and PD Billy. TPD Duke left us to go and get assessed and fingers crossed be a fully licensed Police Dog by the end of the day. Today we started imprinting cash on Meg, Trooper, Scout and Jack whilst being filmed by the BBC film crew again. Imprinting is now very quick and takes no time at all. We then moved on to a quick conformation search of the main school hall.

During the afternoon two searches were put out in different areas of the school one was cash sterling, euros and gun. The second was bulk substances, so large amounts of heroin, amphetamine, cocaine etc., as large amounts create a bigger scent picture which the dogs have to work through to get to the source. By the end of the afternoon all teams are now locating all substances, cash and guns. We also had a phone call from one of the other trainers to let us know that TPD Duke had passed his assessment and had been awarded his licence and was now a fully-fledged PD. Well done Duke and Di, there was never any doubt. Great team, you both will be missed on the bus for the last two weeks of the course.

Day 16:

Thorpe Park:

Last day with our current instructor Andy HAYWARD who has other commitments for the last two weeks of the course and is handing over to another instructor also called Andy. For his last day Andy took us to THORPE PARK, before everyone gets too excited its closed for renovations so none of the rides were open, so no joyriding took place!

Joking aside what a fantastic search venue.

Several search locations around the resort were picked by the instructors Andy and Pete. The searches would include everything we have been trained on. We were also joined by PD Duke and PC Bristow for a final day and two Sussex handlers who were also up in Surrey on a refresher training week. Meg carried out three of the four searches, due to the size we were unable to complete all of them.

Great end to the week at a brilliant venue which we all enjoyed searching, today was a big learning curve for a few of us and we all took a lot away from the day and the advice given by our instructors. Another fantastic weeks training, the dogs are now very independent and are a pleasure to watch when they are working. Roll on Week five, only two weeks to go before we are back in Jersey!

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