Avon and Somerset Police dog crowned nation’s best

AN Avon and Somerset Police dog came out on top at a national competition.

PD Belle and her handler, PC Pete Flinn, were declared champions at the National Police Dog Trials held at Wollaton Park in Nottingham on Saturday (May 20).

More than 20 dogs and handlers competed in disciplines including tracking, searching, crowd control and obedience.

Pete and his six-year-old German Shepherd Belle are based at Bridgwater Police Centre.

PC Flinn said: “Belle’s favourite thing in the world is to go to work. She was actually born in sight of my childhood home and it seems meant to be that we’re a team and drive past there every day we go to work.”

Sergeant Nick Dalrymple said: “I am so proud of Pete and Belle. Such an incredible achievement to be crowned National Police Dog Champion.

“This team has achieved the highest overall standards in all disciplines over four days of some very demanding tests.

“They have competed with the best dogs in the UK and come out on top. Belle is a credit to Pete and our fantastic training team at the Wilfred Fuller VC Operational Training Centre.”

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I am the editor in chief of Blackmore Vale media, which includes the New Blackmore Vale, New Stour & Avon, Salisbury & Avon Gazette and the Purbeck Gazette, having been a reporter for some 20 years. In my spare time, I am a festival lover, with a particular focus on Glastonbury. I live in Somerset with my wife and two children.