New Police CSI Team Sniffing Out Crime

Wednesday, 2 December, 2009.

A new team of Crime Scene Investigators for West Yorkshire Police will be using their noses to help solve serious crimes.

Police Spaniels Murphy and Fudge have just become the Forces first Victim Recovery and Crime Scene Investigation dogs after they successfully completed a 4-week course in Manchester with their handlers, Sgt Glenn Kovacs and PC Chris Hibbert.

The Cocker and Springer Spaniel are trained to sniff out minute amounts of blood, bone and flesh and are now working alongside the Force's detectives to help solve serious crimes such as murders and fatal road traffic collisions.

The dynamic duo and their Handlers will work as a team and are trained to work in all manner of environments and to detect blood, flesh and bone as their scent alters during decomposition.

Inspector Lorna Meredith of West Yorkshire Police Dog Section said: "Murphy and Fudge will be a great asset to West Yorkshire Police. Their incredible sense of smell means that they can find the smallest amounts of blood, bone or flesh and this could help officers to identify crime scenes, as well as to trace victims faster than may have been the case before. This could also give family's swifter closure in cases where people who have sadly passed away still need to be found."

Cocker Spaniel Murphy is 15-months old and lives and works with Sgt Glenn Kovacs (47) in Bradford. Glenn has been with West Yorkshire Police for 18-years and also works with Jaz, a Springer Spaniel trained to detect cash, firearms and drugs.

Fudge is a 14-month old Springer Spaniel. He lives with PC Chris Hibbert (29) who has been with the Force for 8 1/2 years, in Leeds. Chris also has a second dog, a 4 1/2yr old General Purpose German Shepherd Dog, Ziggy.

"Both dogs can detect scents that no human and no current technology can easily find. Their skills will be able to help detectives identify and build crime scenes and speed up the search for bodies of victims of the most serious crimes," said Glenn.

Chris added: "The dogs are trained only to detect these types of scent and are on a national register, which means they can be requested to help out in investigations by any police force in the country."

Cocker and Springer Spaniels are used by many police forces for their high drive and keen sense of smell. West Yorkshire Police's Dog Section recently bred a litter of Cocker Spaniel pups with a view to some of these becoming search dogs. It is hoped that Murphy and Fudge will give West Yorkshire Police around 12-years of service before they retire.

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