POLICE dogs are to be kitted out with video cameras to gather evidence and snare offenders during risky operations.
The K9cams kit is being used by Durham Constabulary after the force worked alongside its designers to perfect the gadgets.
The result was Armed Response Kit (ARK) which includes the back-mounted camera, a longpole camera with an extendable 20ft reach and monitors so handlers and advisers can see the images.
The gear has already been put to the test at a number of high-risk incidents, such as where someone has been in possession of weapons.
Inspector Russ Robson, the force’s head of dog unit and specialist search teams, said: “It’s something that’s readily available, so it is part of our armed-response vehicle.
“If there’s a firearms job or a high-risk person missing from home, we don’t need to have it brought to us. It also means we don’t have to put up cordons, empty houses and close off roads.
“We have the public, officers and other emergency services who we must safeguard first, and we can send them in and clear the area.”
ARK was recognised earlier this year when Tactical Electronics was a finalist in the Security Innovation Awards, run by trade organisation ADS.