UK's top police dogs to compete in Ipswich at the National Police Dog Trials 2011

Tuesday, 14 September, 2010

Pc Tony Russell and Yogi at this year's Regional Police Dog Trials.

The top police dogs from police forces across the country will be competing in Suffolk next year, as Suffolk constabulary hosts the 2011 National Police Dog Trials.

This will be the first time in 51 years that the trials have been hosted in the Eastern Region and Suffolk Constabulary is proud to act as the hosting force.

The trials, which will be in April 2011, will see the country's most highly skilled and experienced dog handlers and dogs from forces across the country competing for an overall title.

Competitors qualify for the competition after progressing through regional trials, which take place a few months in advance. The three day national trials put competitors through tough exercises which test a wide range of abilities such as tracking, searching, stand off, weapon
attack, obedience and crowd control.

The trials will run from April 15th - April 17th and will consist of three phases, with the final two days being open to the public and held at Trinity Park, Ipswich.

The event, which will be largely funded through national sponsor, pet food manufacturer Royal Canin, will raise money to support local charities the Safer Suffolk Foundation, the EACH Treehouse Appeal and Felixstowe Blue Cross' 'Complete the Dream' appeal.

Assistant Chief Constable Gary Kitching said, "We are absolutely delighted to have been chosen to host the National Trials next year. To be selected to host such a prestigious policing event is a reflection of the hard work and consistent performance of Suffolk's Dog Section over the years.

"Police dog handlers and dogs are extremely skilled and a crucial part of operational policing, and this event will give us the opportunity to celebrate this and to demonstrate it to the public, whilst sharing good practice with our colleagues from all over the UK."

Suffolk's dog section has an impressive history in this competition, with Suffolk handlers and their dogs qualifying to the national level for the past seven years. This year, dog handler Pc Tony Russell and his German Shepherd Yogi were overall winners at the regional competition held in Suffolk in April and qualified to compete at the nationals held in Lincoln, whilst Pc Nick Self and Taz were overall winners at the National trials held in 2005.

Dog Section Sergeant, Mick Hart says, "Everyone in Suffolk's Dog Unit is extremely proud to have been given the opportunity of hosting the National Trials next year. We take our work extremely seriously and have excellent relationships with our dogs, training them hard to ensure that they provide the best possible service to operational policing.

The dogs are highly valued and thoroughly enjoy the work they do with their handlers. The trials give us an opportunity to recognise this, whilst also hosting a fantastic event that can give something back to the community by raising money for local charities."

Further information on the trials is available at:

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