Four new police dogs trained to find people carrying illegal drugs have started working on the railway network.

Rocco, Bella, Polly and Dudley started their new roles last week and have already helped with one arrest at Manchester Piccadilly.

Someone attempted to avoid two of the dogs who were working at the station on Thursday.

A man was stopped by plain clothes officers and later arrested for drugs offences.

The four dogs are working on the railway network across England, Scotland and Wales, alongside British Transport Police officers.

They are working within the County Lines team disruption team, forming a project to crack down on drug dealers exploiting vulnerable young people.

The pooches will be working alongside uniformed and plain clothes officers trained in spotting the tell-tale signs of people with criminal intent.

Polly, Dudley and Bella

Experienced handlers were selected and matched to their dogs, before undertaking a rigorous 12 week training course at the force's dog school in London.

Superintendent Chris Horton said: “We’re incredibly pleased to be expanding our drug detection capabilities across the railway network, and the new dogs are an exciting development for the force.

“With growing intelligence suggesting County Lines drug dealers are increasingly using the rail network to exploit vulnerable young people, drugs dogs are an important step in us denying criminals the ability to do so.

Drugs detection dog Polly

“In the past, we have routinely used drug detection dogs from other police forces to identify and disrupt County Lines activity across the railway, so we have seen the positive results they can and will continue to have.

Bella

“All of our dogs and their handlers play an exceptionally important role in keeping the travelling public safe, and I know their hard work will be strengthened even further by our newest arrivals.”

Kit Malthouse, Minister for Crime, Policing and Fire said: “No one should be in any doubt that if you are moving drugs around the UK by road or rail, we will catch you.

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"This new canine capability is a welcome addition to our renewed offensive against the county lines industry that peddles misery and violence across the country. There will be more, much more to come."

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