PCs cut in West Midlands Police dog unit

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The number of police constables working in the West Midlands Police dog unit is to be cut by eight to 50 from April.

However, police said the number of dogs used would not necessarily be reduced by the same figure.

Working with fewer so-called general purpose (GP) dogs would not affect the force's "ability to respond", it said.

The police federation said it was sad to lose any specialist officer who has had money invested in their specialism.

The number of search dogs trained to sniff out explosives, drugs, firearms and cash would not change, the force added.

'Dynamic incidents'

In a statement, dog training manager Insp Russell Evans, said: "We have looked at our operational capability and the resources available to us to respond to dynamic incidents and our use of GP dogs."

Insp Evans added that there were "a number of tactics open" to the force when dealing with incidents.

West Midlands Police Federation chairman Ian Edwards said: "The dog section is one of a number of units which have had substantial cuts, including the traffic unit which now has 115 officers after losing 63 of them.

"The dogs are heavily used for crowd control in public order situations and act as a deterrent and any reduction in their numbers will lead to a reduced capacity to respond to these type of incidents."

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