Abseiling Ipswich-trained superdogs give bag-snatchers the fright of their lives

PUBLISHED: 10:41 02 February 2017 | UPDATED: 10:41 02 February 2017

Darren Debenham of DK9 Security with his
 specialist dog Nico.

Darren Debenham of DK9 Security with his specialist dog Nico.


There's a hostage being held in a tall building, so a specially-trained dog and his handler abseil in from a helicopter to help with the rescue effort.

It may sound like the script of the latest improbable Hollywood movie, but it is actually the work of a team of Suffolk-based superdogs trained for special operations around Europe and the middle east.

Other dogs trained by the team in Europe have been used to break an audacious team of bagsnatchers – and other dogs are used routinely to sniff out drugs, stolen property, or even dead bodies. They are also used in rescue work.

Darren Debenham, from Suffolk-based DK9 Security, has several dogs he uses as part of his work – and has also trained others across Europe.

He uses techniques he learned from a Native American tutor he met in the US.

Some of Mr Debenham’s dogs have been trained to use a special harness to allow them to “abseil” from a helicopter with their handler in extreme cases.

He said: “That can be used if you are trying to get to the upper floor of a building in a hostage situation or if you need to get to the bottom of a cliff quickly for a rescue.”

Mr Debenham has two dogs himself, Nico and Patch, who sometimes wear special goggles and bullet-proof vests for their work.

His colleagues also have dogs and he has helped train a network of about 50 animals across Europe.

Dogs trained by him also work on search missions and security in Middle Eastern countries.

It takes about six weeks for the basic training for the dogs – but from then on the training continues for the rest of their working lives.

One of the more bizarre cases came after a gang of bagsnatchers were taking handbags from mums pushing prams along the streets of a Polish city.

The victims were more anxious to protect their babies than recover their money so the thieves were making a clean getaway and police had few leads to follow until the dog team were called in.

Mr Debenham trained dogs for the local police who placed them in decoy prams pushed by female officers – and the canine crimebusters sprung into action as soon as one of the gang struck.

Needless to say, the bagsnatchers got a nasty shock...

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