Furious reaction to plans to scrap Wrexham sniffer dog

Reporter:

Claire Gallagher

THERE has been a furious reaction to plans to scrap Wrexham’s police sniffer dog.

As we reported on Tuesday, as part of spending cuts police have proposed an ‘exit strategy’ for black labrador Molly.

And the plan is for her to be phased out by next April.

Another drugs dog Beasley is also under threat with proposals to stop her training.
Molly was part of a five-year initiative which was partly funded by community councils and the Community Safety Partnership.

Caia Park Community Council has written to North Wales Chief Constable Mark Polin in protest and now Rhosddu Community Council will also be voicing its opinions to the Chief.

Speaking to Rhosddu Community Council, Cllr David Bithell said: “I cannot believe the force would even consider making Molly redundant.

“She has been an outstanding success in detaching 700 drug cases in the town.

“This council along with other community councils and the Wales Assembly has donated a lot of money in buying training and the upkeep of Molly.

“The dog is so good she is hired out to Cheshire and other forces.

“I would like our council to the make our opposition known to the Chief Constable and I would also like to know where the money from hiring out Molly has gone.

“I would also like to know why on earth Molly’s costs were not ring-fenced with the police dogs operating in other parts of the North Wales force area?”

Cllr Bithell said he had recently seen Molly and her handler Constable Gareth Wedley giving a demonstration to schoolchildren in Mold.

He said the rapport between the children and Molly and the officers was amazing.
Cllr Brenda Roberts said that the educational value of the demonstrations and talks to children was simply immeasurable.

Molly has helped to secure street drugs worth £250,000 and the same amount in cash over her time and is trained to scan both people and areas.

Caia Park Community Cllr Jill Howell said: “Caia Park is the largest estate in Wrexham and needs a strong police presence.

“Along with Molly and recently Beasley, this has worked really well and continues to do so.

“If the dogs are deployed elsewhere due to cuts it will be a hard slog for our police to maintain the current standard of policing that is evident at the moment on Caia Park.

“It will revert back to what is was like up until a few years ago, blatant dealing on the streets, people afraid to go out after dark and children not allowed to play outside- is this what North Wales Police want?

“I don’t think so, it would be a foolish act to take Molly away from the estate and definitely a harder job for the police to do in the future without her and Beasley.”

North Wales Police did not want to comment about the detail of the plans.

Instead officials issued a statement from the Chief Constable to say that it would take some time to see how the coalition government’s Comprehensive Spending Review will impact on the police force.

See full story in the Leader

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