he understands more than one language. He's
an expert in narcotics, weapon and explosive detection. He's well
known for his bravery - catching violent criminals is just part of
the day job. A real life hero. In fact if he didn't have four legs,
a wet nose and a slobbery tongue he'd be any discerning girls' perfect
match, instead he's one woman's perfect partner.
- he often gets mistaken for a wolf
- a white German Shepherd - is one of Derbyshire Police's working
dogs. Along with his handler, PC Rachel Swift, he is involved, as
a matter of course, in rape and murder investigations as well as
violent incidents and potentially explosive situations.
10th marked the first day of the 2002/3, first division football
season. Although Derby beat their opponents, Reading, with a tremendous
3-0 win, the day was soured by Sheffield United fans who decided
that an impromptu visit to Derby City centre would provide a spot
of entertainment on their home journey from Stoke.
and Milo were the first ones on the scene:
"I was just leaving Peartree at 6.30 on an ordinary Saturday
when I got the call requesting that I make my way to the train station.
I got to Ivy Square and was requested to divert to Baroque - the
old Coliseum - on London Road, there were reports of a fight".
couldn't have imagined what would await her:
was anticipating a normal fight, a couple of lads who'd got a bit
excited. As I drove over the Traffic Street island I could see a
large group of people, I radioed into base estimating about 60 people,
later I was told that my guess was very conservative and there were
actually between 100 and 150."
Rachel Swift and Milo
by the van's two-tones and flashing lights the group ran off towards
The Spot leaving a scene of devastation behind:
were smashed windows, bottles, glass everywhere. Milo could hear
the noise outside the van and he went berserk."
crowd stopped en-masse outside The Neptune pub on Osmaston Road,
a notorious Derby County drinking hole. A combination of Derby fans
inside and Sheffield Utd fans outside was a lethal combination:
could see a window go in, a chair flew over someone's head and a
pub sign, there were bottles flying all around. I called for urgent
assistance immediately. I had to do something though so I decided
to drive the van into the crowd to try to separate the two groups,
to put some distance between them."
the midst of the chaos Rachel took Milo from the back of the van:
many people want to argue with the dog and to be honest the two
gangs were more focussed on each other than Milo and me. I was just
doing my best to get us between the two groups and still calling
for assistance. Milo's snapping out at anyone who gets too close
to us, he latched onto a few jacket bottoms, coats, whatever's too
near to his mouth."
Swift and Milo held the fort, alone, for three minutes according
to CCTV footage:
"It felt like a lifetime, I was concerned about my dog's safety
more than my own. There was glass all over the floor and I was worrying
about the pads on his feet. And I was anxious because there was
so many of them, if they rushed us we wouldn't stand a chance, Milo
wouldn't know how to cope.
then I heard the sirens and saw the blue lights, I felt myself sigh
finds time for a spot of play
transits and firearms unit arrived to assist Rachel and, after a
chase through the city centre, and further assistance from on-foot
PCs, more dogs and the police helicopter
they managed to contain the rioters in the Peter Hilton Memorial
Garden, in front of Derby's Council House.
was a real test for both Milo and myself, we've been working together
for two years, he's only three-years-old and this was his biggest
job. It's a real test of a dog and thankfully he has what it takes.
Our trust in each other been proved worthy.
I been an officer there on my own the situation would have been totally
different - I wouldn't have got out of the van but I've got my dog
and I don't advise that anyone argues with Milo."