Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner -  
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Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner - Kathryn Holloway, experienced first-hand the work of the Tri-force Dog Unit when she spent the day with PC Mark West and his trusted partner - Police Dog Dexter.

In the last year, the dog unit has attended 8,355 incidents and has successfully arrested 787suspects and found 96 missing people.

The PCC travelled around the county in a canine police vehicle, to gain an understanding of the fantastic work the BCH Dog Unit do.
PCC Holloway said: “The work that PC West and Dexter do as a team is outstanding, but this is just the tip of the iceberg of the work that they do on a daily basis visiting various locations across three counties as a deterrent, clocking up a distance of 280 miles a shift.”

“It’s clear that the relationship between handler and their dog is vital to effective policing across Bedfordshire.  Mark and Dexter have a fantastic relationship which is hardly surprising as PC West says he sees more of him than his wife.”

The BCH Dog Unit is a tri-force collaborated unit, working in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, and Hertfordshire. It has 30 handlers and 45 dogs and is a collaborated unit that responds to a range of incidents across the tri-force area.

Each officer handles a German Shepherd, like Dexter, or a similar breed which is trained to track offenders or missing people following the trail left by the person on the ground. They search for people in buildings and open areas, property, chase and detain offenders and protect their handlers and other officers in dangerous situations.

PC Mark West said: “I’m in the job that I love and I’ve got the best partner with Dexter.

“We can hatch release our dogs that jump from the back of a vehicle and out over our laps for a pursuit, and we try to keep them on the trail as much as possible, if they stop they could lose the scent. Our dogs are gradually introduced to demanding situations during training. If it was a public order problem with a noisy crowd I’d try to take Dexter in with another, more experienced dog because it’s incredible how they teach one another and bring them on.”