Sussex Police has welcomed home its very own policing hero and national treasure – police dog Finn – to celebrate a new law in his name.
Finn and his owner PC Dave Wardell were invited to Surrey Polices’ Headquarters in Lewes on Thursday (August 22) to commemorate their dog unit and their handlers following the recent passing of Finn’s Law.
Finn, who was trained by the Surrey and Sussex dog unit, was tragically stabbed while protecting PC Wardell in Hertfordshire, in 2016.
Despite suffering multiple stab wounds to Finn’s chest and head, only criminal damage charges could be passed at the time.
Finn was lucky to make a full recovery and won the nation’s hearts on this year’s Britain’s Got Talent show.
Image credit: Dave Wardell
“It has been an extremely emotional two or three years since Finn was seriously injured.
“Finn was kicked and punched throughout his career, and nothing ever happened, which I think is wrong.
“If we’re going to use these animals, and I believe we should as they are phenomenal at what they do, we need to make sure that we have every available protection to them and this law that has been approved does just that.”
Image credit: Dave Wardell
The new legislation, called Finn’s Law, prevents those who cause injury or harm to a service animal from claiming self-defence and is now seen as a criminal offence.
The ceremony saw Chief Constable Giles York present each of the serving Sussex and Surrey dogs with a certificate of recognition and an engraved collar, the latter of which will be given to all retired Surrey and Sussex police dogs.
Chief Constable York added:
“I think this is a key moment and really poignant in the light of recent weeks in policing. Not only is it us who put ourselves in harm’s way, it is the dogs and horses as well.
“It is an absolute privilege to have Finn and Dave his dog handler here and I am delighted to be the first police force to welcome the pair at a recognition ceremony.
“The work that has been put in to quite literally change the law allows our working dogs to be recognised in a completely different way.”
High Sheriff of East Sussex Violet Hancock said:
“I am incredibly pleased to be here today for this event.
“I was at Sussex Police headquarters the very day the law was passed, and the Chief Constable mentioned how an award ceremony should be held.
“I couldn’t believe there wasn’t a law before and well done to everyone who played a part in getting this law passed.
Image credit: Sussex Police
Before you go...
We need your help. As former emergency services & armed forces personnel, we pride ourselves on bringing you important, fast-moving and breaking news stories & videos which are free from the negative bias which is often directed at the emergency services & NHS by some sections of the mainstream media.
One of the reasons we started 'Emergency Services News' back in 2018 was because we became tired of reading badly informed stories about the emergency services & NHS which seemed only ever to highlight negative aspects of the job.
We want to be the unheard voice of the remarkable men and women who serve in the emergency services, NHS and armed forces. And with around 500k page views each month, we are getting there!
As income from ads, the mainstay source of income for most publishers, continues to decline; we need the help of you, our readers.
You can support emergency services news from as little as £1. It only takes a minute. Every contribution, however big or small, is vital for our future.
Please help us to continue to highlight the life-saving work of the emergency services, NHS and armed forces by becoming a supporter.