Cambridgeshire police have been attacked by a taxpayers’ campaign group over the creation of a blog on their website, written from the perspective of their police dogs.
The blog is the latest to be launched on a local constabulary’s website, with Avon and Somerset and Tayside also having police dog blogs. The police claim that the blog increases public awareness of their work and the work undertaken by police dogs – critics say that it’s a waste of time and money. The TaxPayers’ Alliance is of the belief that the blogs serve no public benefit, being just a PR exercise.
A spokesperson for the TaxPayers’ Alliance commented:
All the time we hear that police forces overstretched and officers have too much paperwork. Yet someone seems to have enough time to write hundreds of words about the life of a dog?
However, the blogs do show the process that a dog goes through before it actually becomes a fully fledged police dog; something that will hopefully lead to more dogs being donated to the police force to help in the war against crime.
The latest blog on the police dogs’ website is written from the point of view of Lukas, a new puppy that has been donated to Cambridgeshire police.
My name is Lukas and I’m a German Shepherd puppy. I have just joined Cambridgeshire police dog training programme in the hope that one day I can be a police dog like some of my brothers and sisters!
The chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, Matthew Elliott, believes that the dog blog is a waste of money.
This might be a well-intentioned idea but it is a waste of money.
Either the dog’s handler or a press officer are evidently devoting their time to writing this blog at taxpayers’ expense and to no real benefit for public safety.
A spokeswoman for Cambridgeshire Police argued that the dog blogs written by various forces up and down the country give an insight into police dogs, and the work that they do. She added:
The dog’s blog has proved to be extremely popular with the public and received more than 700 visitors in its first week.
The blog costs nothing to produce and is written by the corporate communications team, whose role it is to promote the work of the force.
We’re of the opinion that the dog blogs are a good idea, and anything that the police do that has a positive affect on the public’s opinion towards dogs is a good thing.
What do you think about the dog blogs?