Drugs dogs at Ipswich Town's ground

VIDEO Sixteen clever canines got a sniff of the action at Portman Road when they showed off their impressive skills.The Prison Service's talented drug detection dogs from throughout the Eastern region gave Ipswich Town's home ground and stadium more than just the once over when they took part in a training day.

SIXTEEN clever canines got a sniff of the action at Portman Road when they showed off their impressive skills.

The Prison Service's talented drug detection dogs from throughout the Eastern region gave Ipswich Town's home ground and stadium more than just the once over when they took part in a training day.

The Eastern Area drug dogs were put through their paces by their handlers to make sure their drug detection skills were finely honed.

And the trainers gave their animals the thumbs up after the dogs found carefully hidden traces of drugs time and again.

Caroline Murray, one of the prison officers involved in the day, said: “The main purpose of the dogs is to act as a deterrent to stop people bringing drugs into prison.”

The dogs are trained to sniff out even the faintest trace of cannabis, amphetamine, heroin and cocaine.

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The dogs live with their handlers and play a crucial role in keeping drugs out of the region's prisons.

But training venues like Ipswich Town are important in ensuring the dogs remain at the top of their game.

During their day at the ground, the dogs were given a range of tasks, from searching corridors for carefully hidden contraband to sniffing around the stands.

Some of the dogs were preparing for their yearly test to be licensed as drugs dogs while the rest were just having refresher courses on skills they had already learned.

HM Prison Service is constantly on the lookout for new venues to train their dogs. They can range from businesses to areas like bus stations - anywhere where a number of people have access to throughout the day so that the dogs have a range of scents to pick up.

The service is also always on the lookout for new dogs. Gun dog varieties like Labradors and spaniels are preferred and they must be people-friendly as passive drug dogs have to search members of the public without alarming them.

For information or if you can help call Phil Bowyer on 07976 450724.