Hot off the press: Meet the fire investigation dogs serving Nottinghamshire and beyond

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Nottinghamshire’s Dave Coss and Ginny, and Tim Marston and Barney have been working together as a team for more than a year – pioneering the way dogs can aid fire investigations across the UK.

In November 2022 the regional fire investigation dog unit was set up within Nottinghamshire, formed of two dogs and two dog handlers.

In their first year, the fire investigation dog unit which consists of Barney, Ginny and formerly Dexter – now retired – have attended 200 incidents, assisting tier two fire investigations throughout the East Midlands and beyond.

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As part of a joint investigation team with police and crime scene investigation (CSI) colleagues, the dogs have played their part by securing sufficient evidence resulting in over 109 years’ worth of combined custodial sentences for arsonists within the East Midlands region and Staffordshire.

Tim and Barney.Tim and Barney.
Tim and Barney.

A spokesperson for Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “We are proud of the contribution the dogs and their handlers make to investigating fires and securing convictions for offenders.”

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The dogs and their handlers have also attended various training events across the UK – representing and supporting other fire dog units.

Dave and Tim are responsible for running regional tier one fire investigation courses and more than 130 fire personnel attended their two-day course during 2023.

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Dave and Ginny.Dave and Ginny.
Dave and Ginny.

The hard work does no stop there though, as the team successfully qualified three new dogs, including Barney, Ginny, and Giddy for West Midlands Fire Service.

The Nottinghamshire unit have also been involved in investigations as far afield as Hereford and Worcester, the West Midlands, Staffordshire, and Northamptonshire, and even appeared on BBC Crimewatch twice in 2023.

Keep up the good work team.