ARK in action at Durham & Cleveland Training Centre

1030am, WED 10 APRIL

SPECIALIST camera equipment, designed for use by police dogs and officers deployed to operations where life may be at risk is being put through its paces this week at the joint Durham and Cleveland firearms training centre.

Since January 2012 Durham Constabulary has been involved in the development of new body cameras which can be worn by police dogs, mainly at firearms and other specialist operations. These ‘K9cams’ have replaced earlier cameras and are proving to be more robust, reliable and capable of providing better-quality pictures.

Being mounted on the backs of the dogs means the cameras and fittings are more comfortable than the previous ‘headcams’ and remain secure for prolonged periods of time.

The force also talked to the designers, Tactical Electronics UK about other equipment which could be used to assist search teams and officers dealing with other serious incidents.

The result was the ‘ARK’, an Armed Response Kit comprising the back-mounted K9cam, a ‘longpole’ camera with an extendandable 20ft reach and associated monitors so handlers and tactical advisors can see the resulting images.

The gear has already been used at a number of firearms and other high-risk incidents in the force area.

These include instances where police have deployed the cameras to search locations where persons have been in possession of knives or guns.

The development of ARK was recognised nationally earlier this year when Tactical Electronics were a finalist in the Security Innovation Awards, run by ADS, a trade organisation for companies operating in the aerospace, defence and security industries.

Members of the media are invited to see the new kit in action this Wednesday at the firearms training centre in Urlay Nook, on the Durham/Cleveland border. The demonstration is scheduled to get under way at 1030am.

Dogs from the force canine section will be equipped with the K9cam to go ‘searching’ both a building and a vehicle, while the longpole cameras will also be deployed in the building search. Staff from Tactical Electronics UK will be on hand to answer any questions about the technical and developmental aspects of the equipment.
The firearms training centre is located on Urlay Nook Road, between Yarm and Longnewton, postcode TS16 0QB. If heading from Yarm on A67 turn right at the roundabout, follow signs for Longnewton and the centre is located just before a level crossing on the left hand side.

If you are planning to attend please contact the Media & Marketing Team on 0191 375 2157 by midday tomorrow, Tuesday 9 April.

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