This week, I was fascinated to read about Rob and Tweed, a labrador and a springer spaniel which are part of a new police unit. Police in Devon, Cornwall and Dorset have created the first police dog unit that specialises in detecting digital storage devices. Devon and Cornwall Police say that the dogs are the first of this type outside the USA. This unit will be able to do so much here in the south west, and across the UK. The unit can be used to fight terrorism, fraud and a range of other crimes. It is a sign that if you want to keep pace with modern technology, there is still not much that can beat man's best friend.
The recent attack on a tube in London is a reminder that attacks by lone extremists are, sadly, becoming something of a regular occurrence. These attacks create a unique challenge for our security services and police forces since they are often improvised and unpredictable without organisation structures. Nevertheless, the speed with which the police were able to move and identify the individuals involved demonstrated the extent of intelligence work done to protect us all. Recently it was announced that an extra £24 million is to be pumped into counter-terrorism policing in the wake of this year’s terror attacks.
Locally, our police have developed some innovative ideas to join up services. The "Tri-Service" station in Hayle is a good example. There, one single, modern building is the joint location for the Fire Brigade, the Police and the Ambulance Service. It is a great example of our public services working together to save money on overheads like old buildings so that the front line can be prioritised.
However, like everything in life, the real strength of our police force stems from the men and women who work in it and the commitment they bring. Trying to reduce the deficit and get the economy back on an even keel after Gordon Brown has meant difficult decisions on public spending in recent years. However, last week, I was pleased that the Government announced that it would award police officers a pay rise. Following independent recommendations by the Police Remuneration Review Body and the Senior Salaries Review Body, officers will receive a pay award worth a total of two per cent to each officer in 2017 to 2018.