Bomb dogs recruited to help Olympic terror fight

POLICE have recruited two crime-fighting canines to keep the Olympic transport network safe from bombs.

Belgian shepherds Koda and Dibble have already started patrolling the rail network in East London after completing an eight-week training course.

They are set to become a familiar site for travellers at stations, including Stratford and West Ham, in the run-up to next summer’s Games.

The pair are passive explosive dogs, who monitor travellers and their luggage and can detect a wide range of explosives.

They are the first of their breed to be used by the British Transport Police and the only Belgian shepherds – or malinois – in the UK in this role.

Sgt Bill Pearson, from the BTP’s explosive search dog section, said: “We chose malinois because of their high intelligence and enormous drive and stamina.

“Compared with labradors and spaniels, they offer us extended duration operations and are an important enhancement to our overall counterterrorist capability.

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“They operate like passive drugs dogs and are used for target-hardening, to make it more difficult for explosives to be transported on the rail network.”

Koda and Dibble, who are litter brothers, have lived with their handlers, Pcs Mark Reed and Steve Gibson, since they were 12 weeks old.

The BTP currently have eight passive detection dogs and this will increase to ten by the time of the 2012 Olympics.