Council offices go to the dogs as a sniffer school

Woody makes it very clear where he thinks the hidden drugs are
Woody makes it very clear where he thinks the hidden drugs are

Police dogs have been searching for drugs and firearms at the old Mid Suffolk Council offices in Needham Market.

But that is not because Suffolk Police thought councillors or staff were up to no good.

PC Simon Hughes with Ivan, a Suffolk Police German shepherd, outside the former Mid Suffolk District Council offices in Needham Market following a training session.

PC Simon Hughes with Ivan, a Suffolk Police German shepherd, outside the former Mid Suffolk District Council offices in Needham Market following a training session.

Suffolk Police’s Dog Section trains general German shepheard purpose dogs and specialist search dogs, such as spaniels and Labradors, in both outdoor and indoor environments.

So the building, which the district council moved out of in November, is an ideal place to train the dogs in an office environment where they can practise tracking down people, drugs, explosive training aids, cash, ammunition or firearms.

Last week Ivan, a German shepherd, was tasked with tracking down PC Tony Russell, hiding somewhere in the building, after which springer spaniels Zuma and Woody were set to locate hidden drugs by PC Simon Hughes.

The training is an interim use while the long-term future of the site is secured.

Suffolk Police springer spaniel Woody says 'it's in there' after finding 'drugs' hidden by his handley PC Tony Russell

Suffolk Police springer spaniel Woody says 'it's in there' after finding 'drugs' hidden by his handley PC Tony Russell

It will be done at all hours, so residents who see police vehicles at the site at odd times should not be alarmed as this is part of the training.

Temporary Sergeant James Thomas said: “We are extremely grateful to the district council for allowing us to use this space for general and specialist training as it is of great benefit to the force and the dogs.”

Zuma waits for the next instruction after finding drugs hidden by PC Tony Russell in the former Mid Suffolk District Council offices in Needham Market.

Zuma waits for the next instruction after finding drugs hidden by PC Tony Russell in the former Mid Suffolk District Council offices in Needham Market.

Suffolk Police springer spaniel Zuma enjoys a game with his favourite tennis ball after successfully finding the drugs hidden by PC Tony Russell

Suffolk Police springer spaniel Zuma enjoys a game with his favourite tennis ball after successfully finding the drugs hidden by PC Tony Russell