Fantastic Four! Introducing Northumbria Police's newest four-legged recruits

Northumbria Police has some new four-legged recruits after a quartet of pooches passed their training to officially become police dogs.

After months of training, German Shepherd siblings Winston and Wren along with Belgium Malinois pair Roxy and Roscoe have passed the General Purpose Initial Course to join the police force.

The gang will specialise in searching for people and property as well as tracking and detaining fleeing criminals.

PD Winston and PD Wren, 18 months, are following in their father Luther’s footsteps.

German Shepherd siblings PD Winston and PD Wren, 18 months are joined by new recruit PD Roxy, a three-year-old Belgium Malinois and PD Roscoe, a nearly two-year-old Belgium Malinois (photo: Shane Hopkins)

The eight-year-old is one of the force’s most experienced hounds and is due to retire in six months’ time.

However, he will first show Winston the ropes as the father-son team share the same dog handler, Pc Andy Errington, who Winston has lived with since he was eight weeks.

Meanwhile, daughter Wren will hone her skills with her dog handler, Pc Hayley Raithby.

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It’s a double celebration for three-year-old recruit Pd Roxy as she’s the first dog new handler Pc Donna Foley has trained to course completion.

Pd Roscoe, who is nearly two, will assist in the same line of work as Roxy.

Roscoe lives with his dog handler Pc Mal Welch and furry co-workers German Shepherd Kenny, who is a firearms support dog, and springer spaniel Jay, an explosives dog.

The force’s dog trainer Pc Paul Cooper said: “We are so proud of all the dogs for passing their exams, they are brilliant dogs and will be a huge asset to the force.

“An enormous congratulations too must also go to their handlers who worked tirelessly to get the dogs up to standard and then through their exams.

“Our handlers don’t just spend their working hours with their police dogs - they open their homes to them too, spending their days off and holidays side by side and welcoming them into the family dynamic.

“Being a dog handler is far from a 9-5 and it’s a demanding job but I know every member of the team find it hugely fulfilling and it’s their passion and respect for the animals that got every single one of our dogs a successful exam pass this week - well done!”

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