NORTH Yorkshire, Cleveland and Durham policing areas are to have individual police dog units.

Residents of Cleveland, Durham and North Yorkshire can expect a more local service from police dogs, as a consequence of changes to the collaborative arrangements which were announced last week.

The three forces have benefited from shared training for dog handlers, and by bringing together their policy and practice through collaborating on arrangements for police dogs since a shared dog Support Unit (DSU) was established in 2016.

At the same time, dog handlers have benefited from working together and developing a stronger network of contacts.

This recent announcement recognises the changing demands on the DSU over the past three years, including a need for Officers to travel long distances more often.

Chief Constables reviewed the efficiency of the shared operation and recommended to the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner that each force should have its own DSU from January 2020.

Commissioners of all three forces have agreed to the change, which they say will not affect the overall cost of policing.

There are no plans to reduce the number of dogs in any area and there will still be opportunities for joint working, for example when specific incidents require the use of a greater number of dogs at one location.