Disclosure Details

Dogs - 360/14

Dated: 27 May 2014

Date of request:    24/04/2014

Date of response:  27/05/2014

Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')(FOIA)

Thank you for your email dated 24 April 2014  in which you made a request for access to certain information which may be held by Northumbria Police.

As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.

You asked: 

1. How many operational dog handlers does your Force currently have active?
2. What is the total cost to your Force per annum of a specialist detection dog handler (explosives/drugs/weapons/cash)?
3. What disciplines do these cover (GP, explosives/drugs/weapons/cash)?
4. How many explosives searches requiring explosives detection dog support were carried out in 2013?
5. What is your Force’s total spend on kennelling police dogs in public sector kennels?
6. What is your Force’s total spend on kennelling police dogs in private sector kennels?
7. What is your Force’s total spend on kennelling seized dogs?
8. What is your Force’s total spend on outsourcing specialist dog teams from other public sector organisations?
9. What is your Force’s total spend on outsourcing specialist dog teams from private organisations?

To clarify the request relates to the total cost of deploying an operational police dog handler. The complete costs the Force places on that officer being able to carry out their primary duties (Direct officer costs, indirect costs (organisation overhead costs to support that officer), training costs, equipment incl dogs, vehicles, training facilities, licencing and routine training).
In response:

In response:

We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.

1.  45
2.  No information held. There is no one total cost of a handler. Several unique factors will apply, ie  the cost of the initial dog however, some are force bred costing us nothing, the constant 'puppy' training time the handler puts into the dog,  initial training courses plus food and various vet bills (inc annual innoculations) depending on the dog. Also, refresher training where appropriate.
3.General Purpose - tracking, searching, criminal work, public order.   
   Explosive Detection - searching for explosive substances.
   Drugs/Weapons/Cash - search for illegal substances, cash, weapons and weapon parts.
4. 37
5. Nil
6. Nil
7. £6383 For 2013.
8.  Generally aid is only sought from other forces for Newcastle v Sunderland football matches. The cost of the latest aid for dog/handlers for  last years derby matches  was approximately £10,000.
9. Nil - Due to the wide variation of dog skills within Northumbria we have no need to source from Private organisations.

Due to the different methods of recording information across 43 forces, a specific response from one constabulary should not be seen as an indication of what information could be supplied (within cost) by another. Systems used for recording these figures are not generic, nor are the procedures used locally in capturing the data.  For this reason responses between forces may differ, and should not be used for comparative purposes.

The information we have supplied to you is likely to contain intellectual property rights of Northumbria Police. Your use of the information must be strictly in accordance with the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended) or such other applicable legislation. In particular, you must not re-use this information for any commercial purpose.

How to complain

If you are unhappy with our decision or do not consider that we have handled your request properly and we are unable to resolve this issue informally, you are entitled to make a formal complaint to us under our complaints procedure which can be found at: http://www.northumbria.police.uk/foi/disclosurelog/foicomprights.asp

If you are still unhappy after we have investigated your complaint and reported to you the outcome, you may complain directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office and request that they investigate to ascertain whether we have dealt with your request in accordance with the Act.


FOI Complaint Rights Procedure_tcm4-67103