British Police’s First Cyber Dogs

The first FBI-trained cyber dogs have been successfully used by British police to help bring paedophiles to justice. Police are using the detection dogs to track down computer software hidden in homes of suspected sex offenders.

The dogs are specially trained to sniff out hidden hard drives and other electronic storage devices that could contain damning digital evidence, such as indecent images of children or terrorism material.

Essex Police successfully used them this week during a raid. The 18-month-old Springer Spaniel, named Tweed, was able to track down a number of items which are now being forensically examined.

PC Jan Simpson said: “We will not tolerate those committing this heinous crime and, using all the tools available to us including specialist resources such as Tweed, we will continue to root out those committing these offences and bring them to justice.

“If you are taking, viewing, downloading or distributing indecent images of children, then it is only a matter of time before you can expect us to knock on your door.

“We are very grateful to Devon and Cornwall Police for allowing Tweed to provide invaluable support.”

Tweed, and her colleague a Labrador named Rob, are based with Devon and Cornwall Police and are the only two cyber detection dogs in the country.

The pair are the only dogs outside of the USA to be trained in this way and received specialist training from the FBI. They were then trained up by the dogs policing unit at Devon and Cornwall Police and passed their training in May.

Guided by her handler, PC Martin King, during the operation on Wednesday, Tweed was able to locate a number of devices and electrical equipment.

DCI Jon Burgess, of Essex Police, tweeted: "Essex Police Online Team used Cyber-dogs for the 1st time to assist with searching a sex offender’s property yesterday, positive result!"

Similar to dogs which are trained to detect drugs, these dogs have been trained to key into a specific chemical used to cool memory chips in computers.

The initiative was first pioneered in 2015 by Connecticut State Police.

During the training of the first cyber dogs, one was used to help bring former spokesman for the Subway sandwich chain Jared Fogel to justice in Kentucky.

The Labrador helped officers locate 16 smartphones, 10 flash drives and six laptops during an 11-hour search of Fogle’s home. He was later jailed for 15 years for child sex offences.

Telegraph:

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