Forensic breakthrough as dog detects stolen metal

For many years, canines have been relied on as companions and as a form of assistance for all types of forensic cases. Due to their strong sense of smell, dogs are able to sniff out drugs, blood and many other scents that can assist police officers in cracking cases. Now, as metal theft increases in the United Kingdom, police officers have been teaching dogs to sniff out pieces of stolen metal as a way of solving crimes. Per week, more than 1,000 separate incidents will take place involving the theft of metal and this mounts up to an annual loss of more than £770m for the UK economy.

To prevent thieves from stealing metal and selling it on for profit, sniffer dogs are now being employed to sniff out forensic markings that would otherwise be troublesome to distinguish. Various places will be visited by officers and their dogs as a way of locating stolen metal, such as scrap yards. Police officers who focus on crime reduction have currently been using SelectaDNA, which is a form of forensic coding that can cut crime and other burglaries by 85 per cent. SelectaDNA is produced by a company in Kent named Selectamark.

Jazz is a labrador working closely with Mick Swindells, who is a police dog instructor and former police officer. Jazz is now one of many dogs helping to sniff out stolen metal. In fact, she is one of the first dogs to accomplish this task. Fully trained to identify SelectaDNA, Jazz is making a major difference in theft investigations.