Bedfordshire Police Headquarters

Bridgebury House, Woburn Road, Kempston, Bedfordshire, MK43 9AX

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Office of the Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner

Dog Welfare Scheme

The Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Independent Dog Welfare Visiting Scheme

Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire have five unpaid volunteer dog visitors.

The scheme is administrated by Cambridgeshire 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:

  • manage the log of dogs visited
  • send the visitors regular updates of dogs that require visiting
  • collate the returned visiting forms
  • send regular schedules of dog training events to the visitors
  • administrate and chair the six monthly meetings


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 Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner administer the joint scheme. 

Annual Reports

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire has published 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. 

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