A POLICE dog which has been involved in tracking criminals in West Somerset has become national champion at the annual National Police Dog Trials.
Avon and Somerset PD Belle and her handler PC Pete Flinn were declared ‘top dogs’ at the event, held in Wollaton Park, Nottingham, where dogs and handlers showcased their skills in tracking, searching, and agility challenges.
Twenty-one dogs and handlers from across the UK competed over the four-day trials in disciplines including tracking, searching, crowd control, and obedience.
He said: “Belle’s favourite thing in the world is to go to work.
PC Pete Flinn and PD Belle at the National Police Dog Trials. (A&SP )
“She was actually born in sight of my childhood home, and it seems meant to be that we are a team and drive past there every day we go to work.”
Sgt Nick Dalrymple said: “I am so proud of Pete and Belle.
“Such an incredible achievement to be crowned National Police Dog Champion.
“This team has achieved the highest overall standards in all disciplines over four days of some very demanding tests.
“They have competed with the best dogs in the UK and come out on top.
“Belle is a credit to Pete and our fantastic training team at the Wilfred Fuller VC Operational Training Centre.”
The training centre, in Clevedon, offers purpose-built facilities for police operational training, including mounted and public order training.
The final day of the national trials also saw an emergency service day free event for families where police officers, firefighters, and other supporting agencies showcased their skills and gave demonstrations.