Windermere exercise builds on police partnership

Windermere exercise builds on police partnership

University of Cumbria forensic and investigative science lecturer Ashleigh Hunt has spent time on exercise with new forensic evidence search dogs employed by Cumbria Police.

Sansa and Harley are trained to detect a body on land and water and were put through their paces on Windermere.

The Fox Red Labradors are the first of their kind in the north west and complete their training this week. After a period of well-deserved ‘animal’ annual leave they’ll be on patrol in a few weeks’ time.

The pair join a team who work closely with officers on major enquiries across Cumbria as well as with students at the University of Cumbria. A ‘crime house’ on campus along with laboratory analysis means students gain access to theoretical as well as practical experience throughout their course.

Cooperation between the university and police force will benefit all sides with exciting new projects on the horizon.

“There are some exciting novel research opportunities in the near future for both students in terms of dissertation projects and staff who will be able to embark on water-based studies,” Ashleigh Hunt said.

The aim is for the university to work in partnership with Cumbria Police to investigate the kind of issues and questions the handlers may have when it comes to how and when a dog indicates. Environmental factors and catchment areas will also be taken into account.

“Our links with Cumbria Police are strong and we work hard to provide a realistic experience for all our students,” Ashleigh Hunt said. ”Our annual two-day exercise based around a major crime scenario puts policing, paramedic and forensic science undergraduates to the test at the University of Cumbria’s Ambleside campus so it is a true partnership which is beneficial to all making good sense to keep in touch with the latest additions to the force.”