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Litter of police dogs named after PC Keith Palmer to begin work | UK News

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A litter of police dogs named after PC Keith Palmer, who was murdered during the Westminster terror attack, will start work in London over the next few weeks.

Met Commissioner Cressida Dick welcomed the newest police dogs to the force, saying: “Most of their amazing work gets very little public acclaim and we must never forget the extraordinarily important part they and their capable and courageous handlers play in keeping us all safe.”

‘Palmer Litter’ is made up of German Shepherds Barney, Rufus, Ludo, Riggs, Max and their sister Freya.

All were born in 2017 and training began when they were around seven weeks old.

PC Keith Palmer
Image:
PC Keith Palmer was murdered outside the Palace of Westminster in March 2017
Commissioner Cressida Dick said it was 'an absolute pleasure' to meet the police dogs. Pic: Met Police
Image:
Commissioner Cressida Dick said it was ‘an absolute pleasure’ to meet the police dogs. Pic: Met Police

Barney, Rufus, Ludo, Riggs, Max and Freya’s names were all chosen by PC Palmer’s family.

During an exercise in front of Commissioner Dick, the dogs were helped to demonstrate their skills by handler PCs Gareth Head, Stu Field, David Perkins, Steven Douglas, Justin Wiseman and Bridget Tottman-Shaw.

Police dogs begin training at seven-weeks old. Pic: Met Police
Image:
Police dogs begin training at seven weeks old. Pic: Met Police

Palmer Litter are ‘general purpose police dogs’ and will spend most of their days tracking human scent, helping to find suspects of crime and finding weapons, such as guns and knives.

The Met Operations TaskForce has over 200 operational police dogs, about half of which are German shepherds or Belgium malinios working as general purpose police dogs.

Other dogs are specially trained to support armed operations and public order policing.

Nearly 100 English springer spaniels, cocker spaniels and sprockers work as specialist dogs and are used to help find forensic evidence, including drugs and money.

The litter are due to hit the streets in June. Pic: Met Police
Image:
The police dogs are due to hit the streets in June. Pic: Met Police

The dogs live at home with their police officer handlers and their families.

They retire at about eight years old.

Commissioner Dick said: “It was an absolute pleasure to watch these exceptionally well trained and skilled dogs officially join the Met family as fully fledged police dogs.

“Every single day, all over London, police dogs are protecting people, helping to arrest suspects, finding weapons and securing vital evidence against violent offenders.”

PC Palmer was stabbed to death outside the Palace of Westminster in March 2017 by terrorist Khalid Masood, who moments earlier had fatally crashed into four pedestrians on Westminster Bridge.

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