More dog handlers earmarked for Yorkshire police force thanks to £420,000 cash injection

South Yorkshire Police dog Bear.
South Yorkshire Police dog Bear.
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More dog handlers and improved facilities are earmarked for South Yorkshire Police's dog unit after a £420,000 funding boost.

South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings has given funding of £427,634 to improve the facilities and to train more handlers at the Niagara base in Sheffield.

South Yorkshire Police Superintendent Paul McCurry said: “We welcome the additional funding for South Yorkshire Police’s dog unit provided by the Police and Crime Commissioner.

"The money will be spent on enhancing our existing facilities at Niagara to improve the kennels, office space and most importantly training facilities for dogs and dog handlers.

“The refurbished facilities will ensure we have the right infrastructure to recruit additional dog handlers and dogs in the future.”

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The force currently has 16 handlers who train the dogs to take part in a whole wide range of operations, from pursuits to drugs and weapons searches or anti-terror operations.

The dogs are also attached to the force's roads policing team, which deals with everything from uninsured cars to drug trafficking, human trafficking and gangs breaking into people's homes to steal cars.

Police dogs and handlers have to undergo extensive training.

The dogs usually work for around seven or eight years before retiring, with most handlers choosing to keep them as pets once they leave the force.

The training never stops, with any downtime spent honing their skills.