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Last Updated: Tuesday June 05 2007 12:58 GMT

Police dogs stay safe with armour

Police dog Max modelling the special jacket

Police dogs working with armed officers in South Yorkshire are being kitted out with body armour to keep them safe.

Jackets made from a metal mesh were designed to protect the pooches following fears that they were more at risk of being stabbed than being shot.

Pc Rick Harrison said: "We haven't had any of our dogs hurt in this way but prevention is better than cure."

The dogs will be the first to try out the jackets when they have their final fittings later this month.

It's taken Pc Harrison two years to come up with a design that protects the dogs' neck and shoulders but is still light enough for them to be able to chase after suspects.

Defence

He said: "Previous styles of body armour have been impractical for the dogs to wear even though they provided protection.

"The vests were uncomfortable because of inflexibility, insulation and weight. The best defence a dog has is its speed and manoeuvrability."



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