Crime fighting sniffer rats in Rotterdam

  • 14 September 2013
Rat Image copyright PA

Five "sniffer rats" have been in police training in the Dutch city of Rotterdam, learning how to distinguish between scents - including dangerous explosives.

The brown rats are due to go into active service next year.

They're even going to operate under the names Poirot, Magnum, Derrick - TV detectives popular in the Netherlands - and Jansen and Janssen, the Dutch names for the bowler-hatted detectives in children's cartoon Tintin.

It means the Netherlands will be the first country to use trained rats in civilian police investigations.