Drugs dogs at Gateshead
Dated: 21 Dec 2007
Regulars at pubs in Gateshead received an unexpected visitor last weekend in the shape of one of Northumbria Police's drugs dogs.
The specially trained dog was used to accompany officers to a number of public houses to search for people in possession of drugs.
The dogs, referred to as PANDAs (Passive Alert Narcotic Detection Animal) are trained to detect drugs in the personal possession of people, using scent. They alert their handlers if they detect any people in possession of drugs.
During last weekend's operation one man was arrested for possession of cocaine after the dog detected a substance on him. He was later given a caution.
Inspector Les Pattison, Neighbourhood Inspector for Gateshead Central and Quays, said: "These dogs are friendly and pose no danger to the public, but are specially trained to detect drugs on a person simply by the handler guiding the animal through a room full of people.
"Customers visiting public houses and clubs in Gateshead should be aware that we will be conducting more of these operations in the coming weeks and anyone found in possession of drugs will be arrested and could be prosecuted.
"The dog is accompanied by several police officers, providing good reassurance to both the law abiding customers and staff and ensuring the public houses are well managed and safe for people to visit."