Police officers bid a fond farewell to a faithful companion

Police dogs Honey, Vinney Kane who is retiring on Monday
Police dogs Honey, Vinney Kane who is retiring on Monday

The area’s oldest serving police dog is retiring after an illustrious career which included apprehending four suspected illegal immigrants at Toddington Services.

The incident made the headlines last year when Kane, a German Shephered, and handler PC Graham Ashby, chased a group of men who were acting suspiciously. Kane tracked the men crossing several fields, a river and dense undergrowth to reach three of the men, while a fourth attempted to escape by swimming across a deeper river. Kane and Graham then waded into the water and successfully located the man with all suspects being arrested on suspicion of immigration offences.

In all the dynamic duo made around 170 arrests over their time together and played a key role at a number of incidents and operations on behalf of Beds Police, and Cambs and Herts Constabularies. These included searching for missing people, locating suspects and supporting officers at public events, such as football matches in Peterborough and Watford. Some of their work recently featured in the media.

Outside work, Kane participated in a number of dog trials and competitions. He and Graham were previously crowned winners of both the Beds and Herts (which was prior to the three forces’ collaboration) and the BCH trials.

They were also recently awarded fourth place, in the Eastern regional police dog trials, a three-day competition featuring around 10 handlers and their dogs.

Kane and Graham also gave their time to visit local community groups, provide demonstrations at fetes and give talks about their work to scouting groups, newly attested officers and members of the public.

Kane will now spend a well-earned retirement with Graham, alongside former Police Dog Taz, current Police dog Honey and hopeful future member of the BCH Dog Unit Vinny, also a German Shepherd, who will begin his training on Monday, January 18.

PC Ashby said: “It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Kane for such a long period of time. I am very proud of his achievements as he always worked extremely hard at every job and incident we attended.

“He is fully deserving of long and healthy retirement and it is clear that Vinny has a big collar to fill. I am looking forward to another successful partnership with Vinny, as I had with Kane and Taz.”

Head of the BCH Dog Unit, Inspector Mark Farrant, said: “Kane and Graham have played a vital role in keeping the three counties safe during their career and, although it is sad to see him leave the unit, I am pleased Kane will have a much-deserved rest with Graham now.

“On behalf of all their colleagues they have supported throughout their time together I would like to say ‘thank you’. It is only through the hard work and dedication of both of them that Kane remained such a highly proficient member of the unit whose nose was always welcomed when finding missing people or suspects.”