Cat crime fighters could be used after girl's letter

Last updated at 07:31
Eliza Adamson-Hopper and MittensPA
Eliza's letter pointed out the ways in which cats could help with police work

A police force could become the first in the country to introduce cats in the fight against crime, after a girl wrote to the chief constable.

Five-year-old Eliza contacted Durham Police chief Mike Barton suggesting cats would be good at listening out for danger and rescuing people from trees.

She received a reply saying he would pass the idea on to an inspector.

The force has now confirmed it will consider using cats in some sort of role.

Letter from Durham PolicePA
Eliza's mother described Durham Police chief Mike Barton's response, which included a drawing of a cat, as "very sweet"

Eliza's letter read: "A police cat would be good as they have good ears and can listen out for danger.

"Cats are good at finding their way home and could show policemen the way.

"Cats are good at climbing trees and hunting and could rescue people that are stuck."

Mr Barton's reply, which included a drawing of his cat, thanked her for the suggestion.

Undated handout photos issued by Cheryl Adamson of Mittens the cat and Susie the dog, pets of Eliza Adamson-HopperPA
Eliza, who has a cat called Mittens and a dog called Susie (pictured above), wanted to know why the police use dogs but not cats.

Inspector Richie Allen, of the dog support unit, said: "I can confirm the force is looking into recruiting what we believe to be the first UK police cat.

"Their duties and responsibilities have not yet been agreed but if nothing else they will become the force mascot.

"Of course, if it smells a rat we'll expect it to catch it."