Flash sniffs out a promising career

Representatives from INS paid a visit this week to meet Flash, Cumbria Constabulary’s newest member.  Flash, a black Labrador, is in training to become an explosives sniffer dog and was named following an internal INS competition.

Cumbria Constabulary and INS work in close partnership on a number of projects and INS, whose offices are based in Cumbria and Cheshire, agreed to fund the replacement of an explosives dog who was approaching retirement.  INS employees put forward their name suggestions and the top five were submitted to the Cumbria Constabulary to make the final choice.

Internal Communications Manager, Jane Foreman, said “INS is always keen to support the communities local to our offices, and this competition was something a bit different, with many of my colleagues joining to submit a wide variety of names.  We chose the top five names and let Cumbria Constabulary make the final choice”.

Explosives sniffer dogs require specialist training to enable them to seek out explosives and explosive component parts. It’s a lengthy process, and so Flash won’t be fully trained and operational until September 2018. Currently Flash is living at home with his puppy walker PC Jonny Mossop who will see him through his training before transferring him over to his operational handler, Dave Culverwell.  Flash and Dave will stay together for the whole of Flash’s working life.

PC Steve Wilde said: “We’d like to say a big thank you for the support INS has given to Cumbria Constabulary over the last two plus years and in particular for supporting us in obtaining an explosives dog for the Constabulary.  This has been a good example of partnership working”.  He added: “Flash is doing well – he passed his first major test recently when he was set a task to search a building and managed to find the small item that was hidden without any difficulty. He’s coming on strongly and I’m confident he’ll make the grade before the end of the year”.

INS Assistant Commercial Manager, Viki Carney, who chose the winning name and Jane visited Flash to see him put through his paces. Once again he successfully located the item and also had a great time playing with his new toy provided by Viki.

Pictured L to R (back) PC Steve Wilde; Internal Communications Manager, Jane Foreman and L to R (front) PC Jonny Mossop, Flash and INS Assistant Commercial Manager, Viki Carney