Farewell to ‘key’ police dogs after years of service in St Albans

Police dogs Taz, Kane and Vinny

Police dogs Taz, Kane and Vinny - Credit: Photo supplied

Canine sleuths are exchanging drug raids for the quiet life, as they turn their tails on tracking down criminals after playing key roles attending incidents in Harpenden, Wheathampstead and Frogmore.

Brewster has also retired

Brewster has also retired - Credit: Photo supplied

Police dog Kane retired last Monday, January 18, after supporting officers at public events such as football matches in Watford. He has enjoyed a distinguished career with his handler, PC Graham Ashby – about 170 arrests were made as a result of the duo’s efforts.

The German Shepherd is the oldest serving general purpose dog in the Beds, Cambs and Herts (BCH) Dog Unit, ending his career with the team at the age of nine and a half years.

Kane joined the unit at the age of 16 months, after being born in the Greater Manchester Police puppy programme.

On September 30 last year, police were called to a suspected break-in at an address in Waldegrave Park in Harpenden.

Kane and PC Ashby were first on the scene and found the door had been forced open. They found people inside the address who were temporarily detained while checks were run on them – but they were confirmed as residents of the home, who had forced the door after their key broke in the lock.

Apart from attending incidents such as searching for missing people and locating suspects, the pair also helped at a road traffic collision in Wheathampstead last May.

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Fellow long-serving canine Brewster, a 13-year-old spaniel originally from North Yorkshire, retired two weekends ago.

With a decade of service under his collar, Brewster is the dog unit’s oldest serving drugs, cash and weapons dog, joining them when his owners decided to gift him to the police after realising the spaniel had too much energy for them.

Within just three weeks, the canine was fully trained and licensed as a drugs, cash and weapons detection dog.

Given his keen sense of smell to detect cannabis, he has also worked at Luton Airport to find items being smuggled into and out of the country.

Brewster attended a raid in Frogmore, in May last year.

Both Kane and Brewster have won praise from Inspector Mark Farrant, head of the dog unit, who described the canines as outstanding assets who had kept the three counties safe, with Brewster’s “super nose” contributing to the arrest and prosecution of a large number of people.