Police in Suffolk are to receive specialist training on guide dog attacks in the first scheme of its kind in Britain. More than 1,000 Suffolk officers are to take part in the project thanks to a cash injection of nearly £10,000 from police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore.
News of the investment has delighted Carolyn Allum, from Claydon, whose guide dog Ally had to be retired early after repeated attacks. “Over the last 12 months I’ve experienced the devastating consequences of these horrific attacks when my own beloved guide dog had to be withdrawn from service,” she said.
Carolyn with her guide dog Ally, who was attacked six times before she had to stop work as a guide dog. The impact on my independence and emotional wellbeing has been overwhelming and I am hoping to once again experience the liberation and freedom these amazing dogs give.” This new project – a partnership between Guide Dogs UK, Deafblind UK and the force’s learning and development team – could be rolled out nationally if the Suffolk pilot is successful. As part of the initiative, video and online learning tools will be developed for the force. These will help to build knowledge and understanding of the impact an attack on a guide dog has on someone with sight loss.