DSU - FAQ

Answers to some of the more common Freedom of Information requests we receive:
 
How many operational dog handlers does your force currently have?
15 Police Constables each with one General Purpose Dog and a specialist dog (Active dugs, cash & weapons / Body Scanning Drugs / Explosives / Victim Recovery & Forensic Search)
2 Sergeants each with a specialist dog
What disciplines do these cover (GP, explosives / drugs / weapons / cash)?
Durham Constabulary specialist search dog capability includes – active drugs, cash, and weapons.  Body scanning drugs.
Explosives.
Victim recovery and forensic search. 
What is the total cost to your force per annum of a specialist detection dog handler (explosives/drugs/weapons/cash)?
There are many different types of costs, e.g. salary, on costs, cost of dog procurement, dog training, dog feed, dog welfare etc.  The costs would also be variable dependant on discipline and individual circumstances of dog/handler.
How many drugs searches requiring drugs search dog support were carried out in 2013?
Active drugs/cash/weapons – 153, Body scanning drugs - 50
How many explosives searches requiring explosives detection dog support were carried out in 2013?
9
What is your force’s total spend on kennelling police dogs in public sector kennels?
Durham Constabulary has its own kennelling provision. 
What is your force’s total spend on kennelling police dogs in private sector kennels?
None in five years.
What is your force’s total spend on outsourcing specialist dog teams from other public sector organisations?
None in last two years.
Does Durham Constabulary use independent traders/businesses to provide dog whelping services?
Durham Constabulary previously had its own breeding programme and the pups were whelped at the Dog Training School.  During the time of the breeding programme no independent businesses were used to assist with whelping. There is now no breeding programme within the Constabulary.
How many Police Dogs have been rehomed?
From 11/07/2008 until 08/11/2013
45 dogs rehomed
No police dogs euthanized due to being unable to rehome.
For further information regarding serving and retired dogs www.pawsup.org.uk
 
Training:-
 
From April 2005 – March 2013 Durham Constabulary have ran 287 courses and 562 teams have been licensed:
Courses Run / Dog Teams Licensed beginning April 2005 to End March 2013
 
General Purpose
Specialist
Total
Year
No. of Courses
Teams Licensed
No. of Courses
Teams Licensed
No. of Courses
Teams Licensed
2005 - 2006
17
38
19
15
36
53
2006 - 2007
14
35
19
36
33
71
2007 - 2008
11
26
15
33
26
59
2008 - 2009
15
36
20
36
35
72
2009 - 2010
15
39
19
32
34
71
2010 - 2011
17
42
20
39
37
81
2011 - 2012
19
49
20
35
39
84
2012 - 2013
21
38
26
33
47
71
 
Dangerous Dogs
How much does your force spend per seized dog on average?
Figures would need to be obtained from finance department
 
What is the process for keeping a seized dog?
Dogs are seized for many different reasons and the processes will be dependent on this.  There is a generic process and seizure form in place that must be completed in all cases which is then forwarded to the force Single Point of Contact (SPOC) to ensure that the process is monitored correctly.  The SPOC will decide if any other key people need to be informed, for example a Dog Liaison Officer.
How long is a seized dog kept under the care of the police?
Again this is dependent on the reason for seizure.  Dogs should be kept in kennels for the minimum amount of time possible.  The welfare of the dogs is checked on a regular basis and the progress of any impending cases is monitored by a Single Point of Contact (SPOC) within the force.  Liaison with kennel providers is conducted regularly.
Under what circumstances would a seized dog be destroyed?
Dogs seized under the Dangerous Dog Act would only be destroyed if ordered by the court.