HC Deb 07 July 1955 vol 543 cc113-4W
43. Mr. Lewis

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the use of dogs in the war against crime in the Metropolitan Police area; when this system was introduced; how it has developed; and to what extent it has proved successful.

Major Lloyd-George

The Metropolitan police began using six trained Labrador dogs in 1946. They were first used experimentally on the outskirts of London and later in Hyde Park. Subsequent experience has shown that dogs can be effectively employed in built-up areas, and the establishment in the Metropolitan police district has been increased by stages to 272. The actual strength is at present 150 dogs, of which the great majority are Alsatians. These dogs are used for a variety of purposes, including tracking at scenes of crime, searching premises to locate thieves, and the pursuit of fleeing criminals, as well as general preventive work on patrol. There can be no doubt that dogs have a valuable contribution to make to police work.