Metropolitan Police Dog Support Unit
The Dog Support Unit (DSU) is a Central Operations (CO) branch of London's Metropolitan Police, providing trained police dogs and police officer handlers. Dogs are used operationally by the force in a variety of ways, from public order and tackling violent offenders to searching for human remains and detecting drugs and explosives. They are usually based at police stations which are central to the operational area.
The DSU is made up of five units distributed across London:
- Unit 1: Hillingdon, based at West Drayton police station
- Unit 2: Redbridge, based at Claygate House in Chigwell
- Unit 3: Lewisham, based at Catford traffic garage
- Unit 4: Merton, based at Merton traffic garage
- Unit 5: Wandsworth, based at Nine Elms police office
Other management and support functions are carried out at the Command Unit headquarters at Wapping.
Each unit provides a 24-hour response. Units 1 to 4 have general purpose (GP) dogs, usually German or Belgian Shepherds, and drugs or firearms detection dogs. Unit 5 provides an additional explosives search dog capability.
GP dogs are typically used to track suspects or missing persons, to apprehend offenders and also to search buildings and find recently discarded property or evidence. Certain GP dogs are also trained to locate firearms and human remains. Drugs dogs are specialised in locating controlled drugs, either hidden on persons or elsewhere.
- "Metropolitan Police Service - Dog Support Unit". Met.police.uk. Retrieved 2009-06-08.