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Sussex police show their ‘Puppy Love’ this Valentines Day

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Swap a candlelit supper for a rawhide chew in front of the fire and a bunch of red roses for a ball on a rope and you have every dog’s recipe for the perfect Valentine’s Day.

sussex police dogs
PD Mason (top left), PD Basil (top right), PD Basil and PD Gem (bottom left), PD Ollie (bottom right).

Police dog handlers in Sussex are showing the love for their canine friends this 14 February by celebrating the remarkable work carried out by their four-legged colleagues across the county.

Gem, Ollie, Basil and Mason are just four of the dogs who work across Sussex and Surrey and who feature in Sussex Police’s ‘Puppy Love Dating’ service. Unfortunately, there’s little chance of them sharing their affections as they only have eyes for their handlers, but their often brave work normally goes unheralded.

While the general perception of a police dog may be a big, hairy, noisy German Shepherd like Gem, a general purpose police dog who is five-years-old and works across the county, various breeds are used according to their various traits and abilities. Mason, an eight-year-old Labrador and Ollie, a six-year-old Brittany spaniel are both explosive search dogs at Gatwick and while a lot of their work is behind the scenes, passengers may see them working around the public areas of the airport. Basil, 8, is a cocker spaniel and he is used as a drugs search dog across Sussex.

The force also uses springer and cocker spaniels and Belgian Malinois, but that doesn’t discount using other breeds or even crosses if they are up to the job.

The dogs are selected as puppies, sometimes from litters bred by the dog unit, and are then fostered into families in Sussex and Surrey who socialise them and get them used to the world. During this time, they come back to us for puppy training and if after a year they are assessed as suitable, they start dog school. Training varies according to specialism but ranges from six weeks for a drugs detection dog to 12 weeks for a general purpose dog.

Last year, police dogs in Sussex and Surrey attended 13,140 incidents – that’s 36 a day – and were involved in 938 arrests and finding 104 missing people. They undertook 703 drugs, firearms and currency searches, which seized an incredible £563,000 in cash and nearly £650,000 worth of drugs. Talk about worth their weight in gold!

They go places a human would never be able to, cover large areas a whole lot more quickly and their amazing sense of smell is put to good use every day, sniffing out people from hundreds of yards away and having a nose for all sorts of illicit things. Above all else, they are faithful and brave and many a dog handler has been thankful for their chum getting them out of a sticky and sometimes dangerous situation.

If you are interested in becoming a police puppy foster family, you can email kennelattendants@surrey.pnn.police.uk for more information, but be aware that when they go off to dog school, they probably won’t be coming back!

Business

Furniture Village opens its doors in Crawley’s County Oak Retail Park

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Crawley welcomes Furniture Village who will open a brand-new store in County Oak retail park this Boxing Day.

The new location offers a Carpetright concession, providing a one-stop-shop for customers looking to update their homes.

Visitors to the new Furniture Village store will be invited to create their ‘home in one’, by exploring collections for every room of the house, from sofas to beds to dining.

Charlie Harrison, Commercial Director at Furniture Village, comments:

“With much of the UK under lockdown, I’m delighted we’ve been able to open our new store in Crawley. County Oak is a fantastic shopping destination and the ideal choice for Furniture Village.

“It’s been a challenging year for everyone, but I am incredibly proud of the Furniture Village team which continues to offer industry-leading quality, choice and service. As well as Family Retailer of the Year, we’ve also been awarded National Bed Retailer of the Year so I’m particularly looking forward to welcoming customers to our new bed department.”

The store will see a team of 11 expert sales consultants offering valuable insights and advice to customers, all made possible thanks to enhanced Covid-19 safety measures.

These include temperature checks, PPE for all staff and hand sanitisation stations, along with an appointment booking system which can be accessed via the website.

Charlie Harrison, Commercial Director at Furniture Village, adds:

“Customer safety is still, and will continue to be, a priority for us. The feedback from all of our existing stores continues to be overwhelmingly positive, with the appointment booking system providing reassurance and exceptional service for customers.”

The store will open at 9am on Saturday 26th December 2020. Opening offers include Sale discounts of up to 50% plus an additional £50 off every £500 spent.

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