Rookie police dog already proving the scourge of criminals

Pictured: PD Astro

A rookie West Midlands Police dog is already proving the scourge of criminals after sniffing out a burglary suspect hiding in gardens on his 3rd shift.

Astro and his handler Sgt John Simpson were called to reports of a break-in on Maryland Avenue in Hodge Hill, at 1.40am today (11/04). Within minutes the 18-month-old German shepherd tracked down a man lying low in a nearby garden.

A 33-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of burglary and remains in police custody for questioning.

Police Dog Astro was born into the force’s Space & Planets litter in October 2017 alongside litter-mates Orbit, Comet and Apollo! The pups are the latest in a long line who’ve been born into police’s breed scheme and trained in-house by specialist dog trainers before hitting the streets of the West Midlands to protect the public.

In fact, this year saw the 1,000th puppy born into the force’s breeding programme since it launched back in 1997.

Manager of the West Midlands Police Dog Unit, Inspector Sean Querie, said: “Our police dogs are trained to the highest standards with about nine in every 10 making the grade and progressing to become operational police dogs.

“They really do make a big difference in protecting the public and fighting crime.

“When people think of police dogs they often picture them chasing down fleeing criminals or helping to keep order during disturbances.

“Apprehending offenders is, of course, a key role but they actually have many other uses, including sniffing out drugs, cash and firearms, plus helping find missing people.”