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February 2020
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The POCA puppies

Bred from Kennel Club champions and bought from money raised by the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA), three Springer Spaniel puppies are to begin their training with Essex Police to sniff out drugs, live firearms and cash.

Inspector Louise Beattie, from Sandon dog section, said: -It is fantastic that money raised through criminal activity can be used in such a positive way. Once trained, these dogs will not only be excellent sniffer dogs but they will also act as a deterrent to criminals who know how fail-safe a fully-trained dog can be.

She continued: -These dogs will be part of our front-line team to fight crime and reduce criminal activity in Essex still further.

Gizmo, Oso and Dibley are 14 weeks’ old and are being trained at Sandon. The £2,000 needed for the puppies was agreed by Detective Inspector Paul Dibell, from Essex Police Financial Investigations Team, and has meant that for the first time money taken from criminals under the POCA has been used to buy police dogs.

Each of the puppies will undertake an intensive six-week training programme to hone their skills, with the expertise of Insp Louise Beattie, Sgt Neil Phimister and Pc Mark Watts, all from Sandon dog section, to bring them up to scratch.

If anyone has a springer spaniel puppy aged between eight weeks and 18 months old that is proving too much for family life, Essex police dog section is happy to discuss the prospects of re-homing as a working police dog.

For further information call the Essex Police non-emergency number 0300 333 4444 and ask for Insp Beattie.

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