Details have emerged of an incident that resulted in Police Dog ‘Alpha’ having a car door slammed against his head multiple times during a pursuit.
Officers from the Met’s South East Area Basic Command Unit (BCU) were travelling on Harrow Manorway, SE2 at approximately 00:30hrs on Thursday, 7 February when a vehicle with false number plates was spotted.
It later transpired that the vehicle was in fact stolen.
The officers switched on their blue lights signalling for the vehicle to stop, but it failed to do so and made off at speed.
The officers began pursuing the vehicle and were joined by colleagues from the Met’s Dog Support Unit (DSU).
During the pursuit, the suspect reversed at speed into the DSU vehicle causing considerable damage.
The stolen car became stuck on a roundabout as a result.
One officer approached the suspect’s vehicle, deploying Police Dog Alfa at the same time.
The officer attempted to open the door to the stolen car, but the suspect struggled to keep it closed – slamming it on PD Alfa’s head multiple times in the process.
However, PD Alpha refused to give up and managed to get hold of the suspect with its teeth. At the same time, PD Alpha’s handler managed to use his baton in order to remove the suspect from the car.
PD Alpha continued to put up a fantastic fight and helped his handler to take the suspect into custody.
The male, who has not been named, was arrested for: failing to stop for the police, dangerous driving, theft of a motor vehicle, going equipped to commit theft, criminal damage to a police vehicle, driving whilst disqualified, driving without insurance and cruelty to an animal.
The male was taken to a south east London police station.
The London Ambulance Service (LAS) were called to the location owing to the wounds which the suspect sustained after PD Alpha managed to get hold of him.
PD Alpha was taken to a south east London veterinary centre for a check-up and was kept in overnight as a precaution.
Superintendent Emma Richards, from the Met’s Taskforce, said:
“This is the second time in as many weeks we have witnessed the sheer bravery of officers working within the Met’s Taskforce and Dog Support Unit (DSU).
“This officer and canine companion stopped at nothing to apprehend this violent and reckless individual, who showed no concern for the welfare of the public, police, or police animals in his actions.
“Our officers work day and night to make the streets of London a safer place, and this is a prime example of the kind of situations they encounter, but tackle with bravery and professionalism.
“We will be supporting the officer and PD Alfa over the coming days to ensure they both make a full recovery.”
I will admit to feeling a sense of relief at the thought of PD Alpha having a good ‘chew’ after this dangerous and violent suspect decided to try and cause serious harm to the dog.
This incident just goes to show how vital it is that Finns Law – a Bill that is currently making its way through Parliament with the aim of affording greater protection to service animals – makes it onto the statute books ASAP.
Police Dogs, as well as other service animals, are incredibly brave and will not think twice about risking their lives in order to protect their handlers and catch violent individuals.
We’ll be watching this story with interest and we hope to announce in the not-too-distant future that, if convicted, then the individual responsible gets a punishment that is reflective of the outrageous manner in which he conducted himself.
We all owe so much to service animals such as PD Alpha and their handlers.
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