Page last updated at 17:24 GMT, Monday, 14 December 2009

Police dog unit to be cut by 50%

Police dog and handler
The dogs will be kept by their handlers or sold off

Strathclyde Police is to substantially reduce is dog branch.

The force said that from next year new shift patterns and better ways of working would allow it to cut the number of dogs and handlers by half.

The officers affected will be able to redeploy to other areas of the force. They will also be offered the chance to keep their dogs.

Any surplus dogs will either be sold to the public or to other police forces throughout the UK.

The decision follows a review of the dog branch which looked at how and where the dogs were deployed.

It also looked at the number of arrests and operations they were involved in and the costs involved in the day-to-day running of the unit.

'Reduced cost'

Strathclyde Police Assistant Chief Constable Fiona Taylor said the force had a duty to put its resources to "best use".

"The public want us to work efficiently and effectively and the outcome of this review means that we will be able to do the same job at a substantially reduced cost," she said.

"The money we save can be reinvested back into policing and those officers from the dog branch affected by the review can be redeployed to communities throughout the region.

"The welfare of the dogs has always been in our thoughts during this process. I'm sure that they will all find good homes, either with their handlers, a member of the public or another police force."

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