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Police / Black lab Oscar joins Dogs Against Drugs team

Who's a good boy? SPC Ewan Anderson pictured alongside Oscar as Blade and chief superintendent Conrad Trickett stand to their right.

A NEW drugs detection dog has come to live and work in Shetland.

Two-year-old black Labrador Oscar started his operational career on the mainland with Police Scotland’s dog unit, and was recently transferred to the islands where he now will work from Lerwick Police Station alongside his new handler special constable Ewan Anderson.

Oscar takes over the reins from ten-year-old fox red Labrador Blade, who is nearing retirement.

Shetland’s drugs dogs are operated by local charity Dogs Against Drugs, which was established in 2001.

In addition to Blade, two other dogs called Thor and Axel are also working in Shetland.

Dogs Against Drugs chairman Ian Davidge said: “I would like to thank the Police Scotland Dog Unit for donating Oscar to Shetland and we welcome him as a strong and valuable addition to our organisation.

“I am sure that Oscar and Ewan will have an excellent partnership and prove as successful as his last partnership with Blade.”

Anderson added: “I look forward to introducing Oscar to the community and continuing our important work.”

Highlands and Islands chief superintendent Conrad Trickett visited the island recently as he continues his tour of the region as new divisional commander.

At Lerwick Police Station, he met with Anderson, Oscar and Blade, where he got the chance to thank them in person.

Dogs Against Drugs charity has provided two handlers for a number of years – SPC Michael Coutts who has 18 years’ service and SPC Anderson, who has nine.

The dual role means they can carry out their duties alongside regular police officers, detecting and deterring illegal drugs from entering and being used on the island.

The charity also delivers drugs education to all age ranges of pupils in local schools, and is actively involved in giving drugs awareness training to businesses and individuals.

A similar initiative has now been launched in Orkney.