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Nearly 200 police dogs deployed to sniff out trouble at Cop26

·2-min read

Nearly 200 specialist drug-sniffing, gun-detecting, and explosive-finding dogs will be prowling key locations at the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow, police said.

The highly-trained canines will help officers search vehicles, secure major venues, and control potential unruly crowds at the crucial international conference in November.

Police Scotland said it will deploy its dog unit to ensure the safety of world leaders, heads of states, delegates and members of the public as it showcased different breeds training at Pollok Country Park in Glasgow on Wednesday.

Cop26 – Glasgow
Pc David McIntyre training with Rudi the dog (Jane Barlow/PA)

Around 10,000 officers from around the UK will be deployed on each day of the two-week summit, beginning October 31, making it one of the largest policing operations ever undertaken in Britain.

The force’s general purpose dogs include German Shepherds, Dutch Malinois, Dutch Herder and cross-breeds, while Labradors, Springer Spaniels and Cocker Spaniels are used for specialist search operations.

They can be used to hunt down drugs, money, guns or ammunition, while explosive-detection dogs are skilled in sniffing out concealed devices.

Chief Inspector Cath McNally said: “Our police dogs are highly trained and will be providing a vital resource to the policing of this major event to help keep people safe.

“The dogs are also training for incidents of serious disorder but we hope that they won’t be required.

“If they are, then they will perform to the same standard of excellence that they are trained for every single day.”

Cop26 – Glasgow
Sergeant Lynsey Buchanan-Barlas with new recruit Buddy the puppy (Jane Barlow/PA)

Some 2,587kg of dog food is required to fuel the police dogs patrolling the event, which runs from October 31 to November 12.

It comes after the officer in charge of armed policing for Police Scotland said earlier this month there is “no specific threat” of terrorist attacks to the UN summit.

Chief Superintendent Louise Skelton said people should expect to see more armed officers around Glasgow during the international climate conference this autumn.

The force is understood to have about 500 armed officers and, while there has been no increase in their numbers for Cop26, a “significant” number of armed police from elsewhere in the UK will assist.

The Queen, Pope Francis and US President Joe Biden are among the high-profile figures expected to attend, and each member of the United Nations has been invited, meaning nearly 120 heads of state are expected to arrive along with about 20,000 accredited delegates.

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