Suffolk Police search for new dogs as hero Charlie retires

HE’S chased suspects across fields, cracked open cases with an amazing discovery and held back fearsome crowds.

But now, after six years of hard work, it’s time for a hero of the county to enjoy his retirement.

And as Charlie, the German Shepherd, looks forward to his deserved rest, Suffolk Police are on the lookout for more canine volunteers.

The appeal for new German Shepherd recruits was made from Halesworth Police Station this week just a day after two of Charlie’s existing colleagues visited the town’s Edgar Sewter Primary School.

Charlie, who is eight-and-a-half years old, has served as a general purpose police dog with handler PC Rick Mullett for the past six years. He was first given to Suffolk Police by a superintendent in Essex Police and PC Mullett explained that it took a little while for the two to gel.

“He was two-and-a-half years old and gave all the signs that he was going to tear me to pieces. It took about four or five days for him to realise that I was going to look after him,” he said.

Charlie spends all his time with PC Mullett and drugs detection dog Woody, a cocker spaniel, and together they can be called anywhere across Suffolk.

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Some of Charlie’s finest achieve-ments have included tracking down a drink-driver in Lowestoft who had absconded through fields and along railway lines, and finding a knife at a haulage yard that a gang had been using to access trailers.

Now it’s time for Charlie to enjoy retirement at home with PC Mullett and the search is on for his replacement.

PC Mullett said: “We’ve been looking for nearly a year and probably viewed close on 30 dogs.

“A lot of these have been offered as pet dogs to the police but for various reasons they have not made the grade. We’re looking for a dog that is fit, agile, very enthusiastic and plays with toys. How do I get a dog to track half-a-mile away if the dog does not even want to get a ball?”

The successful dog will live with PC Mullett and from May 2 they will be based across north Suffolk and Great Yarmouth, as Norfolk and Suffolk police dog sections join forces. .

Ideal dogs are aged between 10 and 18 months and any families, breeders or rescue homes who may have a suitable German Shepherd are asked to contact Sgt Mick Hart on 01473 613500.

Meanwhile Sgt Hart visited Edgar Sewter Primary School in Halesworth on Tuesday with his dogs.

Sgt Hart spoke to the children about the work of police officers and their dogs, before he introduced them to his drugs detection dog Paddy and German Shepherd Cairo.

Suffolk Police will be hosting this year’s National Police Dog Trials and have been encouraging primary and middle schools across the county to create a piece of artwork or to write a story based on a police dog

Pupils at Edgar Sewter created pictures of the dogs using recycled materials, three of which will now be put forward to the overall competition where they could win the chance to meet all the police dogs in Martlesham.