PSNI hosts the 56th National Police Dog Trials
Two of the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s highly trained canines will be competing this weekend at the 56th National Police Dog Trials at Stormont in Belfast.
PDs Mike and Finn were both successful at the regional competition and will now compete against some of the most skilled Police Dogs in the UK for the prestigious national title – last won by PSNI 11 years ago.
During the 3-day event at the Civil Service Club Pavilion in Stormont, the four-legged officers will demonstrate a variety of skills through practical scenarios, all of which highlight the valuable roles they play within policing on a daily basis. These include chasing and detaining or attacking a criminal, searching for a person or for an item within a property, as well as obedience and agility skills.
Superintendent Nigel Goddard said: “Our trained dogs play an important role within policing by supporting officers in a number of ways, including finding missing people, locating illegal drugs, cash and explosives, controlling crowds, searching cordon points and public venues, as well as tracking down criminals who attempt to ‘get-away’.
“The National Trials provide a platform to showcase the expertise, skills and abilities of handlers and their canine colleagues from across the UK as well as provide the public with a glimpse into the significant contribution they make daily in protecting people and communities.
“The standard is extremely high and we are delighted that two of our General Purpose dogs, Mike and Finn, will be representing the Police Service of Northern Ireland at this prestigious event. It is also an honour for the organisation to be hosting the trials for the second time in 10 years.”
Officers from Tactical Support Group, Roads Policing Unit, Armed Response and Dog Section along with a display of their kit and vehicles will be attending the free family event. A number of charities will be represented also, including the USPCA and Pets as Therapy and schools and community groups will also be attending.
The trials begin at 11.30am on Friday, 20th May (doors open to the public 10.30am–4pm) and continue on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd at 11am (doors open to the public 10am–4.30pm). Access to the pavilion grounds will be only via the Stoney Road entrance on all three days, with free parking available inside the grounds.