POLICE dogs in Gwent are being issued with collar numbers - typically only given to their two-legged colleagues.

The force has started issuing their canine compatriots with collar numbers in recognition of the vital role they play within the force.

Typically a collar number is issued to an officer at the start of their service, and acts as a unique identification number for the force they are serving. It is displayed in their epaulettes, worn on the shoulders of their uniform.

The numbers issued to the 20 dogs currently serving with Gwent Police the force will displayed on their collars and harnesses.

South Wales Argus:

PD Charlie (left) and PD Ruby (right) with Chief Constable Pam Kelly (centre) and handlers

PD (Police Dog) Ruby, a three-year-old Springador, and PD Charlie, a two-year-old German Shepherd, had the honour of being the first dogs to meet with Chief Constable Pam Kelly and be awarded their new numbers.

South Wales Argus:

PD Ruby with her new collar number

The decision to introduce collar numbers was taken following the passing of Finn’s Law in June 2019, an initiative which saw PC Wardell of Hertfordshire Police campaign tirelessly for the better protection of service dogs.


This came after PC Wardell's police dog, Finn, was stabbed during an arrest attempt in 2016. Despite sustaining life-threatening injuries, PD Finn bravely held on until further assistance arrived - and later recovered.

The attacker - a 16-year-old boy - was charged with Actual Bodily Harm on PC Wardell, but only received a charge of criminal damage for the severe injuries inflicted on Finn.

The new bill now makes it harder for those who harm service animals in the line of duty to claim self-defence, while also increasing maximum sentences.

Chief Constable Kelly said: "I’m thrilled to see this initiative arrive in Gwent. Our police dogs play such a vital role in daily, operational policing in Gwent and I’m delighted to see the introduction of Finn’s Law which now gives them the legal protection that they rightly deserve.

“The new PD collar numbers will hopefully go some way to reflect our appreciation for the role they play in Gwent.

“Police dogs are instrumental in a variety of police work, from helping us find missing or vulnerable people, to helping us tackle serious and organised crime, including drug supply.

“A lot of their work is often unseen by the public but when you see our dogs at work, it really is exceptional. Our police dogs are part of our policing family and we could not be without the unique skills of both the dogs and their handlers.”