The Met’s first ever welfare dog showcased invaluable people skills in a visit to a policing unit in South West London earlier this week.
Dexter, a pedigree black Labrador, became the first welfare dog for Met Police after flunking out of drug sniffing training.
Deemed ‘too sociable’, Dexter is now thriving in his new job paying visits to hospitals, police stations and most recently South West BCU’s OCSAE team, who operate across the boroughs of Wandsworth, Merton, Kingston and Richmond.
Detective Sergeant Suzanne Quinton said: “It definitely gave the team a boost and a sense of well-being, of benefit to our role but also a general boost during COVID lockdown.”
Social butterfly Dexter spent a couple hours with the team, as his partner in crime (and handler) PC Mike Sheather, spoke to officers about the importance of mental health.
It’s an especially significant for the OCSAE team officers, who deal with online sexual abuse and exploitation.
They often have to view thousands of unsettling and graphic images per week in an effort to detect crime.
Coupled with the strain of lockdown, the impact of seeing such awful material takes its toll.
Luckily, however, the team receive support from occupational health and, of course, Dexter who gave them furry love and affection.