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Police dogs on track to prevent crime

Police dogs on track to prevent crime

Wednesday, 18 December 2013 - 8:58am

Bay of Plenty

Police dogs are sniffing out those in need of crime prevention advice as part of a new initiative in the Bay of Plenty.

For some time the Police have used ‘cocooning’ in a number of areas as a strategy to help protect people from burglary and other dishonesty offending. This currently entails a leaflet drop and some visits to homes within a 100m radius of a burglary in order to raise awareness, provide prevention advice and encourage vigilance.

The Bay of Plenty Dog Section has decided it can enhance this service using man’s best friend to track down homes and businesses that may benefit from crime prevention information.

Each time a police dog tracks from a burglary a leaflet will be provided to all properties along the route that the offender took. In addition the dog handler will identify high risk properties along that track and an officer will then pay a personal visit to those premises to offer advice and support which may prevent them from becoming a future victim of crime.

Dog handler Senior Constable Max Spedding said: “Experience tells us that offenders generally commit crime in areas with which they are familiar and areas that provide them with confidence to escape. It also means that offenders will often commit more than one crime in a particular area. This initiative is about closing down those opportunities as well as increasing the chances of the offender being caught.

“When we are tracking with our dogs we are effectively running in the footsteps of the criminal and seeing what they see, so we have the perfect opportunity to identify insecure sheds, poor lighting, overgrown hedges and other factors that might provide offenders with places to hide and evade capture.”

Dog cocooning began this week and will initially be utilised for burglary offences only. The initiative will then be evaluated to assess the benefits of extending to other crime types.

ENDS

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