TWO new police dogs officially joined the force after passing training courses.

German Shepherds Betty and Rudi spent 13 ruff weeks being tested on obedience, agility, tracking, searching and crowd control with the help of their handlers PC Cindy Hargreave and PC Tracy Doughty. The pair of pooches received licences from Superintendent Mark Sellers and will follow in the paw-steps of retired police dogs Tyke and Max to take a bite out of crime.

PC Hargreave said: "It will all be very different from now on for her, as whilst she knows what to do with various different scenarios and disciplines, she’s always performed in a sterile environment. We do what we can in training to make it as close to a real life scenario as possible, but you can never completely recreate a live incident.

“I have no doubt she will take it all in her stride. I’ve named her the Pocket Rocket. She’s very stubborn and quite a madam, but she’s very determined – all positives for a great police dog.”

Betty and Rudi are general purpose dogs and can be expected to be called upon to assist in a wide variety of incidents, including burglaries, disorders, crowd control at events such as football games and searches for missing people.