Was Axel the police dog barking up the wrong tree in Corringham?

LAST week, we received a good news story about how Axel the police dog had captured three suspected bike thieves in Corringham.

Police Dog Axel – a Belgian Malinois cross who was just three days into his career was on duty with his handler Pc Graham Nuth and colleague, Sc Dan O’Connell, on December 30 when the officers received a call from an off-duty police officer. Pc Dave Bridge was on his way home and had seen three people with a motorcycle acting suspiciously in Corringham. When challenged, they ran away.

Graham and Dan quickly located the motorcycle and after running checks discovered that it had been reported stolen just 20 minutes before.

While Dan waited with the motorcycle, Graham deployed Axel to sniff out the suspects. Following his nose for ten minutes through a busy housing estate, Axel led Graham to a recreational ground where he spotted three people matching the description given by Pc Dave Bridge, a fellow dog handler.

Axel gave chase and detained them while waiting for dad, Graham, to make the arrests.

Two 17-year-old boys from Basildon and Stanford-le-Hope were arrested on suspicion of taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent along with an 18-year-old man from Corringham. The trio was taken into custody.

Unfortunately, when we followed up the story, Essex Police admitted that all three had been released without charge, “based on the evidence currently available”.

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