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Springer spaniel puppies recruited by Essex Police
One of the new springer spaniel police dog recruits
The 13-week old puppies will begin training when they are one-year-old

A trio of springer spaniel puppies will begin training to become police dogs thanks to money seized from criminals.

Thirteen-week-old brothers Dibley, Oso and Gizmo will begin training when they are one-year-old at Essex Police's Dog Unit Headquarters in Sandon.

Once trained they will aid officers with drugs, cash and weapons recovery.

The purchase of the puppies from a local breeder has been made possible by funds made available to the force through the Proceeds of Crime Act.

"A proportion of that [money seized] goes back through the Police Authority and Essex Police," said Inspector Louise Beattie, who will be partnered by police dog Dibley.

"I bid for the money at the end of last summer and was successful with that bid and was given £2000.

Police puppies playing
The three puppies came from the same litter

"So it's great to see the funding that's come from finding money that can't be accounted for through convicted criminals has come back and has done a full circle," she added.

The puppies will spend the next few months getting used to their new owners before training begins at the end of the year.

"It will take six weeks to train the handler and dog, and then there'll be trained monthly on-going," said Inspector Beattie.

"By the end of that six weeks they'll be live and able to search.

"Gizmo and Oso will work on shift and patrolling every day, whilst Dibley will be used more for planned warrants, drugs searches, the Olympics, V Festival - so they'll be busy dogs."

She added they were always looking for donations of puppies between eight to 18 months that can be trained up by the unit.

For more information, visit the Essex Police website.

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