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Dog Unit (279A/23)


  1. How many police dogs were there in the force’s dog unit for each of the last ten calendar years (2012-2022), broken down by job type. (eg. General purpose/ explosive detection)
  2. Please list the main breeds used in the totals in question 1. Please list the most commonly used breeds first.
  3. How many full-time members of staff (trainers, handlers, officers etc) were working in the force’s dog unit for each of the years in the same period.
  4. What was the force’s total budget for each of these years and how much was allocated to the dog unit.
  5. Does the force have its own dog breeding unit?


Please be advised that the information that you have requested is not available in a readily retrievable format. In relation to the job type of each dog, this is not a central recording category within our systems, therefore, each dog record would need to be located, retrieved and manually read to see what role they performed. Using a conservative estimate of 2 minutes to review each record and we have identified approximately 1,100 records that would require reviewing. Therefore, this would take in excess of 36 hours to complete question 1. This calculation doesn’t take in to consideration dogs that have been injured or retired or re-handled, therefore, additional work would need to be completed to capture this information. This calculation is also in addition to the time already taken to complete the remainder of your request.

Therefore, the cost of providing you with the information is above the amount to which we are legally required to respond i.e. the cost of locating and retrieving the information exceeds the ‘appropriate level’ as stated in the Freedom of Information (Fees and Appropriate Limit) Regulations 2004.

In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, this letter acts as a Refusal Notice for this part of the request and if one part of a request exceeds the fees limit then S12 of the Act applies to the whole request.

However, under Section 16 of the Act I have a duty to provide advice and assistance in relation to your request and can provide the current figures in relation to question 1 and information in relation to question 2 – 5. Please find this information attached (279A_Attachment).

This should not be taken as a precedent that additional information would be supplied outside of the time/fees legislation for any subsequent requests

Further information on section 12 of FOI is available here: