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‘Digital dogs’ in UK sniff hidden mobile devices, hard drives to combat terrorism, child porn

/ 05:09 PM September 18, 2017

United Kingdom police forces are keeping the fight against crime up to date in the 21st century—with highly trained dogs.

The newest addition to the Devon & Cornwall and Dorset police forces are two Digital Storage Detection Police Dogs, a first in the U.K.

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Devon & Cornwall police, K-9, sniffing dogs, dogs, UK police

The “digital dogs” with their full-time handlers whom they live with: Tweed with Police Constable Martin King and Rob with Police Constable Jill Curnow. Image: Devon and Cornwall Police

The “digital dogs” can “sniff out data devices such as mobile devices, USB sticks, SD cards, hard drives and computers,” said chief superintendent Jim Nye, commander for the Alliance Operations Department.

“These dogs will give the police a new way to fight the threat of terrorism, pedophiles and fraudsters,” he added.

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In the United States, dogs with this training are dubbed “porn dogs” as they are able to find small electronic devices which contain child pornography.

While the program is still on trial, the dogs, 19-month-old Tweed, a springer spaniel, and 20-month-old Rob, a black Labrador, have already put their special training, which involved the Connecticut State Police and the FBI, to good use.

Devon & Cornwall police, K-9, sniffing dogs, dogs, UK police

Tweed is a 19-month-old springer spaniel out to fight tech crimes. Image: Screen grab via Youtube/DC Police

Devon & Cornwall police, K-9, sniffing dogs, dogs, UK police

Rob, 20 months, is a black labrador on a mission to find digital devices. Image: Screen grab via Youtube/DC Police

Police Constable Graham Attwood said the dogs have been to 50 warrants across the U.K., and their skills have helped spot evidence that police could miss.

Tweed was able to point out to a soda can that turned out to have SD cards hidden inside, while Rob found a well-hidden device inside a drawer, said Attwood.

Depending on the results of the trial at the end of 2017, the program could be expanded. The dogs currently live with their handlers, police constables Jill Curnow and Martin King. JB

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TOPICS: digital dogs, Digital Storage Detection Police Dogs, dogs, k-9, k9, police dogs
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