Dogs and Horses

Dogs and horses have been helping South Wales Police officers to fight crime for years. Our four-legged friends might look cute, but they don’t take kindly to law-breakers!

Dogs and Horses Factfile:

Cheekiest animal on shift

Our cheekiest horse at South Wales Police is Rubin. Rubin is always looking for food. Recently whilst on patrol, an officer saw a driver using his mobile phone whilst driving, so issued him with a ticket. After receiving the ticket, the motorist had it promptly taken off him by Rubin who then began to eat it.

The officer recovered the ticket and returned it to the quick-witted driver who stated he didn’t mind paying the fine as long as the horse had the points!

Our cheekiest dog is Chewy. Chewy is a Sprocker Spaniel (Springer/Cocker cross) who ironically ate the Millennium Stadium Manager’s sandwiches whilst doing a security search of the stadium in readiness for the Olympic Games.

Average time it takes to train up a police dog for duty

 A ‘General Purpose’ dog would undertake a 13 week course to get to a licensed standard but it carries on learning whilst on operational duties for a couple of years afterwards. Training for a ‘Specialist Search’ dog takes between 6 and 8 weeks depending on the skill they are learning; for example, illicit drug searches, explosive device searches, crime scene searches and so on.

Average time it takes to train up a police horse for duty

 There is no set time for training our police horses because it depends on the age and maturity of the horse. A horse in training is allocated an intermediate rider (trained to a higher level) and they will train the horse on all facets of police equine work. A very good horse could take as little as 6 months but some have taken up to 2 years.

Training develops from ménage to working outside and a horse would only be considered fully trained when it is available to attend all policing events such as night-time city centre patrols, football matches, military or royal parades or coach escorts.

Number of incidents attended last year

 In 2011, the section attended 12,000 incidents across the South Wales Police force area.

What sort of incidents do you attend the most?

Horses attend targeted patrols dealing with all aspects of policing and major events throughout the force. Dogs mostly attend burglaries and vehicle crimes.