We started working with DK9 in 2011, when we were constructing a new 12 pitch Traveller Site in Colchester. There were originally commissioned to provide evening/weekend security for the construction site, as it was at high risk from people trying to prevent the construction taking place (there was a very high volume of objectors reference the site being built there, and threats/intelligence reference sabotage). DK9 provided the guards/dogs and ensured that there was not interference with the construction.
On completion of construction, a new risk was identified reference unauthorised families trying to access the site, force their way on to plots or trespass on the site in general. DK9 were therefore commissioned to continue securing the site once formally occupied. This was initially on a 24/7 basis with 2 x dog handlers who controlled accessed to the site through the formal entrance as well as patrolling the remaining boundary of the site which were highly vulnerable to unauthorised access, as surrounded on 3 sides by fields.
DK9 officers built up a strong working relationship with the legal site resident, and also with neighbours to the site who went from being previous staunch objectors to working alongside/living in harmony with the site. The success of the DK9 in providing security in a highly emotive/high risk is down to the professionalism of the officers. This runs from their physical appearance and “looking the part”, their interpersonal skills in relationship building, and ability to manage/diffuse confrontational situations and highly trained and effective dogs. Although primarily for this particular project, the dogs were a deterrent/protection for the guards, they also proved effective in their tracking abilities reference attempted illegal access/criminal activities in the surround fields and neighbouring properties.
Based on their known levels of professionalism/expertise, we have renewed our working relations with DK9 in the spring of 2016. We have a particularly problematic site in Harlow which is at the end of a long cul-de-sac and attracts high levels of criminality and anti-social behaviour. Both the Police and ECC could not control these aspects and the decision was made to clear the site of the undesirable elements, refurbish and repopulate the site with new families in an attempt to turn it around long term. We were aware that there was considerable resistance against this action from those elements who wanted to keep the site as is. In order therefore to give us a fighting chance of success, DK9 were called in, and have been covering the site for over 6 months, and made significant inroads into bringing the site back under control, reducing anti-social and criminal behaviours, and unauthorised access as per the Colchester site. It has been a much more difficult outcome to achieve, as there have been Organised Crime Groups using the site, and wanting to keep using it.
In addition to the base security aspect, and use of dogs as deterrents/protection, we are commencing a county wide project in accessing the more specialist dogs DK9 operate, across all 12 Essex owned sites. This involves drug and gun detection dogs. Post this initial sweeps we are setting up random checks.
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Jul 21, 2017