Airport sniffer dogs are better at hunting out cheese and sausages than drugs
- April 18, 2016 at 2:21 pm #703655April 18, 2016 at 7:44 pm #981662
TBH the same could apply to a great deal of Police officers the world over – a few years ago there was a scare in Thames Valley some one had come to harm and their body dumped in a small river near to a supermarket (so they deployed CID, underwater search, the whole lot).
This turned out to be a false alarm in the end but only a few hours later two full size fridge/chiller shelves had been completely emptied of stock :laugh_at:
to be fair though the way the journos have spun this is a bit flawed. The 6 dogs were trained to specialise looking for different items to start with and the Border Force officers themselves hint that they (and most likely the dogs) were deployed to some extent for show/PR at the expense of effectiveness.
Maybe there weren’t any significant quantities of Class A drugs being brought in via this busy passenger airport as there are plenty other busy cargo traffic routes and more hassles for authorities to “stand in the way of businesses” such as delaying/opening up parcels/containers – and what the dogs did find was the sort of contraband middle class (and probably mostly White British) folk might take a chance with bringing in thinking that the focus would be on “foreigners”.
Its not as if “foreign food” from all Europe and further afield is banned or hard to get legitimately in any multicultural area of England….April 18, 2016 at 10:38 pm #981664
GL, I don’t believe sniffer dogs do much good at all. They may find a small amount of cotraband but they find nowhere near all of it and in the US it seems the dogs are trained to do nothing more than sit (indicate) on command. Indeed one police farce in the US tried to get a judge to believe this dog could detect CONCEALED HUMANS, though they could not explain how concealed humans smelled any different to non-concealed humans and in that particular case the dog had only just managed to pass it’s training by blind chance, or close to it.April 18, 2016 at 11:20 pm #981663
A great deal depends on the training and the skills of the handlers – if dogs and/orhandlers are not well trained or overworked and there are many distractions they are never going to be effective for anything (searching, guard duty, herding sheep etc). These days sniffer dogs are really not the best way of searching for concealed items in crowded areas any more than travelling from Manchester to South Shields in a cart pulled by 4 Staffordshire Bull Terriers could be classed as a suitable transport method.
It wouldn’t necessarily be completely impossible but doing so in a way that didn’t contravene multiple animal protection and traffic laws would take a great deal of effort (and multiple sets of trained dogs which are swapped over at various points along the route) – even if the dogs were temporarily borrowed from various shelters in return for dog food it would likely cost more than getting a taxicab for the entire route.
The cops and Border Force round here have various electronic devices ranging from small handheld equipment that can detect even trace amounts of drugs as well as covert x-ray scanning equipment that can look into entire shipping containers without opening them up; and big companies like ABP and Hutchinson owned by middle aged investors in socially conservative countries willingly co-operate with the authorities.
Of course this means stuff does get in via smaller vessels around less affluent areas like Lowestoft and Yarmouth but these places are basically sacrificed to keep richer areas relatively safe. Manchester and the surrounding areas these days appears to be dependent on travel, tourism and the entertaintment industries although IMO unless you had paid work in one of these industries (or even if you did) you’d have to be on drugs anyway to want to go there in the first place…
There are a few sniffer dogs but other than obvious PR stunts to try and drug use in the night time economy (even then Suffolk were using the electronic detectors 10 years ago)
they are only used during targeted raids (funniest one I have seen on crime news sites was the Jack Russell / Norfolk Terrier cross working for Essex, decked out in a stab proof coat with complete with “VL” indicator) – they only remain in service for a few years and are often are sent for rehoming via the sort of animal shelters that are still run by nuns in remote bits of Aberdeen and Inverness for their own safety (normal GP (general purpose) police dogs wear stab proof vests here as well as the officers + protective boots sometimes due to paranoia about booby traps using used sharps)April 18, 2016 at 11:25 pm #981665
and big companies like ABP and Hutchinson owned by middle aged investors in socially conservative countries willingly co-operate with the authorities.
Had to quote that bit just for the irony of being called ABP lol.
Dogs can smell a scent drifting on the air while every technology I know requires actually having something pass through some sort of scanner/detector. They may have their uses but finding concealed stuff in crowded areas is probably not one f them and even with a good success rate, a dog is gonna be so preoccupied with one scent he can’t concentrate on any others for a good while.
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