West Mercia Police issues protective stab vests to police dogs

Police dogs in West Mercia are now getting the same protection from blades as their human colleagues – with the introduction of specially designed stab vests.

PC Dan Hines and West Mercia Police's Chief Constable Pippa Mills with Police Dog Alvin, who is wearing one of the force's new protective vests.
PC Dan Hines and West Mercia Police's Chief Constable Pippa Mills with Police Dog Alvin, who is wearing one of the force's new protective vests.

West Mercia Police has issued all of its police dogs with the protective vests, one of the first forces in the country to do so.

Back in 2017 one of the force's dogs, Canto, was stabbed in the chest while responding to an incident in Bridgnorth with his handler PC Emma Worrall.

Fortunately, Canto was able to make a full recovery and return to work, going on to receive a medal from the animal charity, PDSA, for his bravery.

Police Dog Alvin wearing one of the new protective vests

PD Canto’s handler PC Worrall has welcomed the introduction of the protective vests.

She said: “If at the time Canto was equipped with one of these vests it could have helped protect him from the weapon and saved him from the pain and injury it inflicted on him.

“Protecting our force’s police dogs means a lot to myself, as I have witnessed first-hand my own dog being seriously injured in the line of duty so I welcome this move and can’t wait for them to be wearing them when responding to incidents.”

Chief Constable Pippa Mills, who is also the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) lead for police dogs, said: “As the NPCC lead for police dogs I am pleased that West Mercia is one of the first forces in the UK to fully equip its police dogs with protective vests.

“Our dogs carry out a vital role in supporting frontline policing and are an important part of our policing family. They are often the first to run towards a potential threat and can be at risk of being harmed.

"Sadly, we have experienced how it can affect the force when a dog is injured during the line of duty and it means a lot that we are able to equip our dogs with these protective vests to help prevent them from harm.

“Dog welfare is one of my top priorities as NPCC lead for police dogs and I want to ensure that we continue to protect our animals, as much as we protect our officers.”

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