A newly trained police dog is starting to prove the Skye’s the limit, after helping to detain a number of individuals for driving offences.
PD Skye is a two-year-old German Shepherd general purpose police dog, who was gifted to Surrey and Sussex Police last year.
PC Ben Barnatt, of the Dog Unit, took her on in December 2019 and the pair started their training course in January 2020, successfully passing just two months later.
Since then PD Skye has assisted officers in detaining suspects for offences involving firearms, dangerous driving, and more.
Around 11.05pm on Wednesday 21 October, police responded to a report of a possible break-in Ticehurst.
A grey Chevrolet Kalos was spotted in the area in suspicious circumstances and was pursued towards Flimwell, where it stopped and all occupants decamped into a large recreational area.
PD Skye was deployed immediately and located three suspects hiding between thorn bushes and thick undergrowth.
Enquiries revealed the vehicle has been reported stolen.
Two boys aged 14 and 16 from Wadhurst, and a 17-year-old girl from Cranbrook, Kent, were arrested on suspicion of theft of a motor vehicle and taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent.
They have all been released under investigation pending further enquiries.
Then around 2.10am on Saturday 24 October, police became aware of a silver Ford Mondeo driving dangerously in St Leonards.
The vehicle was pursued for a short time until it manoeuvred around bollards onto the pedestrianised area of Decimus Burton Way. It then crashed into a lamppost and two other vehicles in nearby Maze Hill, before being abandoned in Quarry Hill.
It was located by Roads Policing Unit officers, who stopped a possible suspect nearby.
While he was being detained, PD Skye was tasked to track from the abandoned vehicle. She led her handler along several roads and eventually right up to where the suspect had been located.
Darren Kelly, 42, unemployed, of Kenilworth Road, St Leonards, was subsequently arrested on suspicion of drink-driving, failing to stop when required by police, failing to stop after a road traffic collision, driving while disqualified and driving with no insurance.
He has been released on conditional bail and is due to appear before Hastings Magistrates’ Court on 3 February, charged with these offences.
PC Barnatt said: “What has been nice is seeing PD Skye’s confidence grow, with the more incidents we go to and the more she is exposed to. She has demonstrated she is on track to becoming an invaluable asset to Surrey and Sussex Police.”