Turning police dogs into robodogs.

There is much excitement in U.K police forces about the new innovation of turning their police dogs into what some sections of the the media have dubbed “Robodogs.” if it is not already enough to have them risking injury and death in their duties of tracking villains, chasing and restraining them, sniffing bank notes, drugs and firearms and spending a lot of their lives crammed into the back of police cars, they now have to wear a one kilo helmet as well as body armour.

According to the police, “The camera is exactly what we have been looking for to move our firearms support capabilities forward. The camera is simple to use, fits in perfectly with our IT systems and is cost-effective.

“Dogs do not have an issue wearing them”

Apparently “the camera is light, comfortable and mounts easily to the dog’s head weighing 1kg and has been designed to be comfortable for the dog to wear. The dogs really haven’t had an issue getting used to it.” But if dogs could talk they might not entirely agree with the description or of being viewed as a mobile four-legged tripod to mount the thing on. It is hardly natural. Unfortunately I can visualise that it will not be long before these camera helmets will be available to everyone and we will see dogs hurtling around parks and the countryside taking videos for vloggers.

How long will it be before police dogs have guns strapped to them.

The stated hope is that these helmets will “transform firearms situations” and this means that the dogs will be sent in first to film the situation before sending in a human officer, but will be no help if the dog is attacked. The dogs will still face the same risks as when they are presently sent in to tackle armed offenders, but at least we will have video of it for the tv documentaries. One wonders how long it will be before remote guns are strapped to them.

They will join the ranks of their comrades in the military in having to endure protective clothing and perform dangerous duties to save their human comrades but hopefully not suffering the same horrific injuries like Kuno, the British military dog.

Robot dog.
Could these robot dogs perhaps replace them one day?

Of course, we already have robodogs in the form of Robot Dogs but these are sill under training, less mobile and probably out of the police’s price range, but who knows they might replace police and military dogs in the future, but only if they can be taught/programmed to smell.

Although loved by their handlers and riders police dogs and horses have always been treated as pieces of police equipment or property. After much pressure over the years it has been an offence since 2019 to injure a police animal under Finn’s law, but as we know human officers are attacked on a daily basis so what hope for the dogs and horses.  It still raises the question of whether it is ethically and morally fair to intentionally put animals in harm’s way in the first place?  Would it not be better to restrict them to ceremonial use or purely as “search” and “sniffer” dogs who appear to have a fun time at work.

Related Articles

Responsible dog owners getting fed up with antisocial owners.

Recent survey shows responsible dog owners may be getting fed up with antisocial owners.

With the countryside festooned with dog poo bags hanging from every bush or gateway, poo on the beaches and in the middle of paths and pavements, out of control dogs running towards you in a threatening way and professional dog walkers blocking paths with hordes of dogs it is not surprising that many people are beginning to get irritated with dog owners.

There has been an apparent increase in the number of complaints during the Covid months in the UK of dogs not being kept under control, not being cleared up after and intimidating or biting people probably due to more owners having the time to walk their dogs. Some of these complaints involve professional dog walkers causing alarm to other walkers and their dogs (13% of dog owners now use them). What many owners fail to realise is that taking a dog for a walk comes with its own set of rules, regulations, codes of practice and responsibilities in the same way as taking a car out for a drive.

dog owners employing dog walkers but are dogs under safe control. animalrightsandwrongs.uk
Scenes like this can be intimidating to other dog walkers and people with a fear of dogs and perhaps an accident waiting to happen.

Many dog owners are blissfully unaware of what is expected of them.

Many owners refuse to act maturely in the common good and this has led to a steady movement by many countries including the U.K to clamp down on anti-social behaviour associated with exercising dogs. This involves restricting areas where dogs can be exercised or let loose, governing how many can be walked by one person and penalising those that do not clear up after their dogs or keep them under control. Already many beaches, parks, nature reserves, open access areas (on short lead 1 March to 31 July), areas of natural beauty and urban areas are off limits or on leads only.

U.K authorities use powers under the Dangerous Dogs Act 2020 to regulate the control of dogs and also Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) which make it possible to introduce measures such as keeping your dog on a lead or banning dogs from certain places, limiting the number of dogs with you (including professional dog walkers), clearing up after your dog and make it mandatory to carry a disposable bag or scoop.

U.K. Councils are increasingly cracking down on antisocial dog owners.

A recent survey and consultation carried out by Plymouth Council in Devon regarding proposed increases in restrictions on dogs resulted in some surprising and interesting results. Although 81% of those surveyed were dog owners, 95% of them approved of making a failure to have the means to clear up after their dog an offence and 55% approved of increasing areas where dogs had to be kept on a lead. This resulted in new bylaws making it a fixed penalty offence not to be carrying a poo bag or means to clear up after your dog from October 2020.  Any request by an enforcement officer to put your dog on a lead can result in £100 on the spot fines or £1000 if taken to court.

Plymouth Councillor Sally Haydon, said: The dog owners of Plymouth have spoken. Like us, they are fed up of the small minority of people who don’t pick up after their dog and they want something done about it”.

A limit of four dogs person.

In some countries, like the Australian Capitol Territory, dogs must be on a lead on all paved footpaths and cycles paths including 10 metres each side and are forbidden to swim in lakes and rivers unless designated. Some UK local councils are restricting the number of dogs you can walk together to four and issuing fines. A woman was fined £75 for walking five dogs by Staffordshire Borough Council.

Gosport Borough Council in Hampshire are among many others who have introduced a four dog limit. Gosport Councillor John Tanner said: “With more than four dogs, you are not taking your dog out for a walk but a pack of potentially dangerous animals for a riot around the park.”

The failure of some owners to act appropriately will inevitably ruin the pleasures of others leading to local authorities and the government introducing more draconian laws further restricting the freedom of dogs.

Related Articles:

%d bloggers like this: