The Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Independent Dog Welfare Visiting Scheme
Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire have four unpaid volunteer dog visitors and Cambridgeshire has one.
The scheme is administrated by Hertfordshire Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner on behalf of all three Police and Crime Commissioners.
Volunteers meet every six months with the administrator attending along with Dog Unit Manager and Dogs Trust representative.
The scheme’s target is that the volunteers visit all police dogs in a six month period and report on their findings via visiting forms.
These forms are sent to the scheme administrator who logs the findings and liaises with the dog unit if issues are noted.
Issues are resolved swiftly with the visitors being kept informed of the actions taken.
If there are serious issues found by the visitor, they are instructed to immediately telephone the Dog Unit Manager to report.
The scheme administrator’s main duties are to:
Following the death of a Police Dog whilst in training in Essex in 1997 and the resulting loss of public confidence in training methods, a review was carried out by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO).
From this, a strategy was developed to restore public confidence, part of this was the establishment of Animal Welfare Lay Visitors Schemes.
In 2009 the Police Authority took over the administration of the scheme until November 2012 when Police and Crime Commissioners became responsible.
In February 2009, Herts and Beds entered into a collaborative agreement and the Joint Dog Unit was established on the 1st April 2009.
Collaboration between the Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire Police Dog Unit and Cambridgeshire’s Police Dog Unit was completed on 1 April 2013.
In advance of this, a joint Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Independent Dog Welfare Visiting scheme was established in December 2012.
The Office of Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner administer the joint scheme. Further details can be found on their website.
There are currently no vacancies for the role of Dog Welfare Visitor in Bedfordshire.
The Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire who administrates the scheme, publishes an annual report about the Independent Dog Welfare Visiting Scheme.
The reports contain information about the organisation of the scheme as well as key findings from visits and are found on the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire’s website.