Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner -  
01234 842064

The Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Independent Dog Welfare Visiting Scheme

The Independent Dog Welfare Visiting Scheme aims to build public confidence by ensuring the training and treatment of police dogs is transparent. This will be done by ensuring that police dogs are treated in a humane, ethical and transparent way which complies with the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

Dog Welfare Visitors are members of the local community who are appointed to provide an independent check on the welfare of dogs in police care.


The Dog Visitor scheme is currently recruiting positions to bolster its dedicated existing team of volunteers. Please read through the information sheet and person specification document. If you feel you match the visitor profile, complete an application form, sign and return it to the address below.
Successful applicants will be invited to an interview and will be vetted and trained before beginning the scheme.
Send completed forms to:
Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire
Harpenden Police Station
15 Vaughan Road
In order to remain independent visitors must have no direct involvement in the criminal justice system. Magistrates, serving police officers, special constables and probation officers are not allowed to become visitors. Other professions may also be excluded.
Visitors are also asked to declare any previous criminal convictions. However, a conviction does not mean an automatic disqualification from becoming a visitor. Each application is considered on a case by case basis.


The death of a police dog whilst in training in Essex in 2003 resulted in an understandable loss of public confidence in police dog training methods. In response to this, the ACPO Police Dog Sub-Committee embarked upon a thorough review of police dog training and handling.

As a result, an Animal Welfare Lay Visiting Scheme was introduced. By 2006 Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Police Authorities each had fully operational schemes in place.
In 2008 Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Police Authorities agreed to a collaboration of their two Forces’ Police Dog Units and on 1 April 2009 a single Joint Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire Police Dog Unit was established.

In December 2009 the two Police Authorities agreed to collaborate on Animal Welfare Visiting arrangements and a joint visiting scheme was established. In November 2012 Police and Crime Commissioners were elected in each force area replacing the Police Authorities.

The Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Independent Dog Welfare Visiting Scheme was established on 3 December 2012 under the responsibility of the Police and Crime Commissioner.  In April 2013, the Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire Dog Unit collaborated with Cambridgeshire’s Dog Unit.

The Office of Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner administer the joint scheme. Further details can be found on their website at:

There are currently no vacancies for the role of Dog Welfare Visitor in Bedfordshire.

Independent Dog Welfare Visiting Scheme Annual Reports

   Annual Report 2015/2016 (pdf)
police crime commissioner bedfordshire Annual Report 2014/2015 (pdf)
police crime commissioner bedfordshire Annual Report 2013/2014 (pdf)
police crime commissioner bedfordshire Annual Report 2012/2013 (pdf)
police crime commissioner bedfordshire Annual Report 2011/2012 (pdf)