Kent Police Constable becomes top female police dog handler for the second year
KENT Police Constable Samantha Appleby has become the top female police dog handler in the UK for the second consecutive year following the National Police Dog Trials.
The Kent Police officer was one of only two women competing in the prestigious event and came 11th overall out of 20 competitors. The dog handler, and her five year old German Shepherd Victor, represented Kent Police at the trials in Guildford over the weekend after winning the county and regional trials.
PC Appleby and Victor scored 704 points out of 1,000. Last year they came 8th overall out of 22 competitors and scored 692 points out of 1,000. Kent Police has led the UK with female police dog handlers for three years. In 2010 PC Appleby and one of her colleagues were the only female officers taking part in the National Police Dog Trials.
PC Appleby said: "'I was thrilled to represent Kent Police for the third year running in the nationals and it's an honour to be the UK's top female police dog handler. "But the accolade is shared with my police dog Victor.
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"We are a team and depend on each other to get results. He is a general purpose dog and like the others, specialises in searching for people and property as well as tracking, chasing and detaining offenders. "I'm really proud of him. He works hard and is the ultimate professional."
The three-day national competition put the country's most highly skilled and experienced police dog handlers and dogs through their paces in exercises which tested a wide range of abilities such as tracking, searching, stand-off, weapon attack, obedience and crowd control.
The annual event, held on behalf of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), promotes the pursuit of excellence and encourages the professional development of the handlers and their forces. It also gives competitors an opportunity to share good practice and develop dog training techniques.
The overall National Police Dog Trials Winner for 2012 was PC Kevin Hughes from South Wales with 860 points.